The current pandemic has forced a lot of adaptation, and the creation of our new normal. As a result, a lot of things are worse about college life. No in-person classes, no parties, and the guest policy is constantly cockblocking you. 

The one solace of this new normal for me was the anticipation of a year without any college theater shows, not that the audience ever went over the new government-mandated gathering limit of fifteen. But then Zoom totally changed the game.

I think we all thought that thirty 18-22 year-olds singing and dancing couldn’t get any worse. But now, we have to listen to them sing with computer lag while their poor built-in AirPod microphone gets blown out.

“Sorry, the theater is a little too far from me” is no longer an excuse. Oh, you’re in the hospital? Great, if you have a computer, you can still come to my virtual performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Try throwing your computer out the window- the theater kids will still insist you can watch as long as you have a phone. It’ll be recorded anyway, for your later enjoyment. I think if you watched a college production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark while in recovery after benign tumor removal, the lump would grow back. 

And by the way, wasn’t the whole appeal of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark the stunts? How is that supposed to translate over Zoom? Who made that decision? Do NOT tell me you’re going to share your stupid little screen and play a video of the male lead swinging from the ceiling of Tsai Performance Center. Maybe Zoom is actually great for your underfunded club because you only have to buy costumes for the waist up. At least they’ll be wearing a mask. 

Seriously, what’s next for 2020? Spring break canceled? Rhett dies? Let’s hope for a tragedy in the college theater community to save this year.

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