You have just begun rehearsing a play. Months of pre-production work has been expended. A group of eager students, cast last November, have been waiting all semester to get started. For some, this is their senior year and will be the final production of their academic career. And then it hits. Covid 19 sends everyone, un-ceremoniously home. There will be no production of the stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s acclaimed novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time this April at UNH. Or will there be?
There is something about the theatre and theatre artists that makes the old and cliché phrase “the show must go on,” an inescapable command. It is like a gauntlet tossed or a taunting challenge. The more impossible that it can be done, the greater the desire to find a way. The cast, stage managers and designers gathered for a videoconference, all from the homes they were sent(enced) to. With the artform’s edict zooming in as well, the discussion began. Was there any way to still perform this play? An on-line reading of some sort? Possible, but so dissatisfying for audience and actor. Perhaps start rehearsing on-line and hope some intervention from the theatre gods will allow the campus to reopen in time? Not likely. As the group discussed and debated, trading stories of what was happening in their lives as a result of the crisis and mixing them with thoughts of the play itself, a simple idea came to light. A show…perhaps not the show, would go on.
The play was live-streamed on On April 16, 17, and 18 at 7:30pm, 2020
Kaye, David, "The Curious Incident of a Curious Incident: A Pandemic Meta-Play" (2020). Covid-19 UNH Community Archive Submissions. 1.