WSU’s theater club continues to host events via Zoom

Members look forward to Stage One festival, plan to host written and directed shows via Zoom

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SCREENSHOT OF PERFORMANCE

STAGE has successfully been able to use Zoom to hold performances. They are trying to make the most of the situation.

HANNAH FLORES

Students on the WSU campus have worked to create an environment where people can practice their art and love of theater in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nuthouse Improv director Emma Dexter said club members are glad to have a space where students can still perform. They are looking forward to Stage One, the club’s one-act festival later in the semester.

August Zamzow, the club’s financial director, said there are tentative plans to host the student-written and directed shows via Zoom. 

During a typical one-act festival, the students showcase four different one-act plays, Dexter said. The festival is also open to students who want to showcase the work of other playwrights. 

“If there are students who have one-acts that they want to direct, they can come with their own [plays] as well,” Dexter said. 

The festival is open to anyone who wants to participate, Zamzow said. One act submissions are due at 11:59 p.m. Friday and can be emailed to stage.theatre.wsu@gmail.com

“The auditions are cattle call auditions which means you just come, you don’t have to prepare a monologue or be ready for anything [specific],” they said. “We separate people into large groups and the groups will do activities together and sometimes read scripts based on what the director wants.” 

Dexter said the club believes these group auditions will be more comfortable for those who wish to be involved. 

Dexter said there are several ways operating virtually has changed the way that STAGE participants interact with one another, but the club is making the most of their situation regardless. 

Financially, Zamzow said the club is spending less money because one of their main expenses is renting spaces to perform in. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the group from meeting in person. 

“I would give a hand to Nuthouse Improv Comedy and our director Emma Dexter for really embracing the Zoom format and trying to see what new ways we can express ourselves and practice this art that we all care about in a format that doesn’t endanger anyone,” Zamzow said. 

In order to maintain social distance and keep the community safe, they have been hosting their shows on Zoom. Dexter said they are also discussing plans to host workshops on Zoom in the future. 

Dexter said as much as the group looks forward to returning to in-person performances, they want to maintain connections with current cast members who do not live in the Pullman area.

“I think that everyone really does want to be in-person again,” Dexter said. “I think especially for shows that would be super awesome.

Because the organization runs improv shows each week, there are several opportunities for students to become involved throughout the semester. 

Zamzow said there are shows every Friday. Interested students can attend these shows to find out if they are interested in the club.

Rehearsals begin 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Dexter said.

“When you come to rehearsal, you can keep your mic and camera off if you’re nervous, or until you want to participate,” Dexter said.

Club members plan to go over technical information about acting and improv at the beginning of rehearsals for people who are interested in learning more, Dexter said. 

Zamzow said there are also ways for students to get involved with STAGE doing behind-the-scenes work. 

“We have open meetings once a week as well, they’re sort of more the business aspects,” Zamzow said. “We discuss what plays we’re going to do if we don’t have enough submissions, we go over money matters and things we’re interested in spending money on.”

The club has been more active on their Instagram and Dexter said interested students can keep up with current updates there.