Like I imagine most of you are feeling, I am more than a bit overwhelmed at the circumstances that we all find ourselves facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all disappointed by the loss of so many things that we took for granted– rehearsals, performances, audiences, and perhaps most importantly the sense of a present community of artists and friends that is so integral to our Theater Department. I will also miss the warm greetings, hugs, handshakes, and deep conversations that have been a part of all of my days at Skidmore.
But as difficult as this situation is, it is necessary at this time to follow recommendations and move to remote teaching/learning for the remainder of the year. All of our safety and continued well-being and that of our family and friends, is so much more important than the loss of the rest of our semester and season. We will all pull through this challenge by working together and thinking creatively– something theater people certainly know how to do!
Given that we must be separated for this time, it is more important than ever to affirm our connections as artists and theater makers. Social distancing does not equal social disconnection! We have so many platforms to communicate with each other and going forward as a department I would encourage all of you to be creative in thinking about how you might use social media and technology to stay connected with us, each other, and to continue to create/present work that is important to you. The Theater Department faculty have been working together to adjust to this new reality. We are very aware that each of you have a specific set of circumstances that are unique and therefore have different questions about how to continue the work that you have started. Our first priority as a faculty is establishing how each of our classes will continue in a distance learning model in order for you all to complete your coursework for the semester. And given that a portion of our courses are predicated on experiential learning in production and the studio, some of that work and those requirements will necessarily change. We are committed to making the most of each of the classes that we are offering and embracing the challenge that this unique situation presents to us all. While we make the adjustments that are necessary to our current situation, it is also important that we continue to plan for the next year and beyond with hope and optimism.
To the seniors, I sincerely hope that there will be an opportunity for all of you to return to campus, for graduation, and for all of us to get together as a group and celebrate all of your work, dedication and many accomplishments in your four years here! In the meantime, if you have any questions please reach out to any of the department faculty via email and we will respond as soon as we are able. Let’s all respond to this challenging time by continuing to remain focused on the things that are within our control: becoming better artists, collaborators, communicators and looking forward to when we will be together again.
Take care of yourselves, your family and each other.
All my best,
Garett Wilson, Artistic Director