How COVID-19 Has Affected Theatre and Dance


Baldwin Wallace’s Theatre and Dance department has recently made many changes to both classes and performances due to COVID concerns. These changes include performances and masterclasses through zoom, recorded performances, and socially distanced performances outside.

Brennan Murphy, the department chair for the Theatre and Dance department, said that the switch to online classes has been “a different animal.” He said all classes had to be reconstructed, and the production season went through some major changes.

Among these changes are the removal of many in-person rehearsals or auditions. Murphy says that auditions for the theatre program will be via zoom, while he hopes that auditions for spring shows can be in person.

“It’s been challenging,” Murphy said, but wanted to be sure the department found the “most efficient and safest way to do our season.”

Though in-person master classes have been cancelled, Murphy said there will still be masterclasses online through zoom.

Despite these changes, BW is still putting on five shows this semester, some over zoom and some recorded. One show, “Muses Anonymous,” is set to perform live in Kleist’s parking lot at the end of October.

Sara Whale, the director of “Muses Anonymous” and a professor of dance, always planned on doing the show live.

“[‘Muses Anonymous’] is the only show actually being performed live. I knew early on that I still wanted to absolutely do [it] live and in person. It’s just not the same thing to me,” she said of a zoom or recorded show.

Murphy agreed, saying, “The relationship between actors onstage and the audience is what makes it theatre. [That relationship] will be sadly missed.”

Even with the changes and challenges, Murphy says that he still notices the same passion and drive in students.

“Keeping students on the zoom platform engaged has been a fun experience for me,” he said, adding that students “are working so hard.”

Whale agreed with Murphy, saying, “I think our students are in good spirits and they’re really embracing the changes that we have to make.”

“Blue Stockings”—one of the five shows planned for this semester—has already been performed successfully over zoom, as has “Devised Blues: Uncut & Funky”. “Stupid F%#king Bird” opens Oct. 28, “Muses Anonymous” opens Oct. 29, and “Spring Awakening” opens Nov. 19. More information about upcoming BW Theatre and Dance performances can be found at