While live performances and instruction on the University of Alabama campus are paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UA Department of Theatre and Dance is releasing weekly performances and lessons through two new video series.
“In an effort to remain connected to our audiences, the chair and associate chairs of the department began brainstorming ways we could stay connected to our community throughout the summer while also contemplating ways to continue supporting the department’s social mission of making the arts accessible to everyone,” said Lawrence Jackson, associate chair of dance. “Presenting art virtually has become a crucial strategy for arts organizations and programs to keep audiences engaged during this time.”
The Virtual Black Box video series showcases theater performances on the department’s YouTube channel. New performances are planned for each Monday and Friday at noon.
Jackson said the heads of dance, theater and musical theater selected works that represent the quality of work produced throughout the department.
The Movement Series will feature mini-masterclasses taught by the department’s world-renowned faculty. Lessons will be each Wednesday via Zoom. All sessions are free, but registration is required.
“At a time when in-person gatherings are no longer possible, we feel it’s more important than ever to encourage our audiences to stay engaged culturally and artistically while we weather important social distancing guidelines,” Jackson said. “Virtual arts presentations help lift our spirits during difficult times and keep us connected to our family, friends and colleagues from afar through collective concerts, online classes, workshops and seminars.
“We would like for audiences to understand that the benefit of having art in your life doesn’t have to disappear despite the current challenges we face. This season’s arts and cultural experiences aren’t going away. They just might be presented differently.”
For a list of upcoming Virtual Black Box videos and Movement Series lessons and registration information, visit theatre.ua.edu/virtual-series.
This story originally appeared on the University of Alabama’s website.
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