The show must go on: LSU Musical Theater Club rehearses and performs virtually during COVID-19 | News

LSU’s Musical Theater Club (MTC) has seen canceled performances for the past few semesters, but the club is getting back to work in a new way.

In March 2020, MTC was gearing up for their performance showcase known as Singeaux, where they perform individual and collaborative numbers from different musical productions. Rehearsals were halted on March 13 when the University announced that LSU would close due to COVID-19.

The Student Health Center is being held on January 22, 2021 at the corner of Infirmary Lane and West Chimes Street.

“I was disappointed,” said sophomore digital art student Maddy Lewis. “I joined the club in September and finally felt like I knew everyone at the club.”

Before everyone had to leave campus, MTC did something special for their last unexpected rehearsal – the members rehearsed as if they were performing in front of an audience.

“I put so much work into my Singeaux musical numbers,” said Nathan Catalanotto, junior in theater performance. “I was heartbroken when I found out it was over; it was so unexpected.

When the fall 2020 semester began, MTC found a way to engage returning students and raise funds for their club. Lewis participated in “MTC’s Musical Madness”. The members performed virtually on MTC’s Instagram page through any artistic medium. They made it a contest to raise funds – every dollar sent through Venmo counted as a vote.

“It was friendly competition,” Lewis said. “I didn’t care who won or lost because I was having a great time getting back to playing.”

People competed by acting or singing. They sent their videos to the social media manager, who then posted the videos on their Instagram page.

MTC performed “Twisted the Musical” last fall semester. It was their first show with an audience since last spring. Members sent video auditions via email and received the cast list via email. Shortly after receiving the cast list, they met via Zoom and discussed what was expected if they wanted this show to be a success.

“It was a big surprise to find out that we were playing in front of an audience for Twisted,” said Catalanotto.

All cast members were required to wear masks, sanitize workstations, have their temperatures taken, and get tested for COVID-19 as often as they could. The actors remained spaced out during rehearsals and were only called upon to rehearse if it was their scene.

“I loved that we had the opportunity to rehearse in person,” said theater studies junior Noah Catalanotto. “However, I miss sitting next to my friends at rehearsals, and I really miss giving them all hugs.”

“Twisted” was performed on November 5 and 6. MTC announced an online form with an option to Zoom link a live-streamed performance or to reserve a spot to watch the show in person. It was performed in the Greek amphitheater. Thirty people were allowed into the theater. The actors performed with masks and the public had to keep their masks on.

“Yes, it was difficult to play with a mask on,” said Noah Catalanotto. “However, as an actor, I learned a lot of techniques to play with my body, my eyebrows and my eyes.

“We put all our attention on the public to express our feelings,” said Nathan Catalanotto.

MTC is preparing and rehearsing its spring musical “Theory of Relativity.” The performance, from now on, will not have an audience due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.


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