Blinn College theatre arts students meeting challenges of 'pandemic productions'

Two more shows still to be released during 2020-21 season

Two more shows still to be released during 2020-21 season

December 15, 2020

Blinn College-Brenham Campus Theatre Arts students are embracing the “old-fashioned” concept that makes up the program’s 2020-21 season.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an “On the Air: Old-Time Radio Theatre” format is taking the place of live productions. “The Screaming Woman” kicked off the season in October and “Miracle on 34th Street,” released Nov. 30, was the second show in the four-production season.

In the radio theatre format, actors don’t perform face-to-face to meet social distancing requirements. Their parts are recorded with high-resolution cameras and “green screen” technology is used to blend each actor’s performance into a single video.

Alexandra Leverette, who has four roles in the 40-minute “Miracle on 34 th Street (Doris Walker, a nurse, and two mothers), said doing a show based on radio was very different from what she was accustomed to.

“To be honest, the radio show for me was a little bit more difficult than doing a live production,” said Leverette, who is from Houston. “With a live audience, I am able to see the faces of the people that I’m acting to, but when you’re in front of a camera, you don’t know how you look in the audience’s eyes.”

While Leverette found the production challenging, she quickly became comfortable with the format.

“Everything was handled so professionally,” she said. “That made me feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Seeing the other show (“The Screaming Woman”), I just knew this was going to be a great show.”

The next production will be “Popeye and the Gang at the Zoo.” The final show will be “Completely Hollywood.” Free virtual tickets are available for every show except “Completely Hollywood” at www.blinn.edu/boxoffice . Links to the videos will be emailed to those who sign up by Feb. 26, 2021, for “Popeye and the Gang at the Zoo.”

Tickets for “Completely Hollywood” will be $5 each plus a convenience fee. They will be available beginning April 1, 2021. Performances of that show will begin streaming April 29 and 30 at 7 p.m., and May 1 and 2 at 2 p.m.

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