If the people can't come to the performance, the performance will come to the people.
This is exactly what the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts is doing.
At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29 and Friday, Oct. 30, VAPA will present "The Old Maid and the Thief" and "Gallantry" which will be streamed live on the VAPA YouTube channel (search for ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts on YouTube).
It's a fairly new performance platform for VAPA, said school Director Derle Long, Ph.D., and they've found that it works. Several fall concerts and recitals are already on the channel.
"Our students want to perform; our faculty want to perform. As performing artists, it's what we live for, to be in front of an audience. Preferably a live audience, but reaching a virtual audience is very rewarding," said Long.
Director Mark Ross Clark, D.M.A., VAPA Professor of Music and Theatre, had to adapt the staging for social distancing, and in rehearsals, everyone wore masks. He believes the YouTube audience will appreciate and enjoy the work of the VAPA team.
"Both are delightful comedies with interesting plot twists, quirky characters, and beautiful music," said Clark.
"Old Maid and the Thief" was composed by Gian Carlo Menotti, an Italian composer, after visiting a small New England town for the first time.
"It has a brilliant script and inspiring music by Menotti. It has 14 short scenes moving quickly through a story that needs to be seen to be believed," said Clark.
After intermission, the curtain closer will be the farcical "Gallantry," by Douglas Moore. It is described as a soap opera, which takes place in a hospital. The "show" in front of TV cameras, taking place "live" in the 1950s, is an amazing romp between Nurse Lola, her fiancée Donald, and the skirt chaser Dr. Gregg.
Both musical plays are double cast, with one cast performing on Thursday and the other cast on Friday.
The roles, cast members, and performance nights for "The Old Maid and the Thief" are: Miss Todd, the Old Maid – Hannah Parker (Thursday) and Judith Anders (Friday); Miss Pinkerton, her friend– Thomaneisha Little (Thursday) and Hope Wells (Friday) and Sarah Talmage (understudy); Laetitia, Miss Todd's maid – Jennifer Smith (Thursday) and Leah Huber (Friday; Bob, the Thief – Davonzell Moncrief; and Policeman, patrolling street, guarding liquor store – Cornelius Johnson.
The roles, cast members, and performance nights for "Gallantry" are: Announcer – LeaAnn Hammons (Thursday) and Naomi Kilpatrick (Friday); Nurse Lola, the anesthetist – Hanna Atesdewoin (Thursday) and Leslie Hobgood (Friday); Dr. Gregg – Gavin Huval (Thursday) and Ryan Kersh (Friday); Donald, the Patient – Preston Anderson (Thursday) and Jarryd Nemeth-Gutierrez (Friday); Camera Person – Kate Cole; Dancers – Sarah Talmage, Leah Huber, Preston Anderson, Naomi Kilpatrick, and LeaAnn Hammons.
Production personnel includes director Mark Ross Clark, D.M.A., pianist and music director Richard Seiler, D.M.A., technical director Steven Burnside, producer Derle R. Long, Ph.D., costumer Margaret M. Hall, assistant director and stage manager Kate Cole, and choreographer Sarah Talmage. Special contributors include St. Francis Medical Center, Carolyn Bruce, and ULM Voice faculty Claire Vangelisti, D.M.A., Nancy Carey, D.M.A., and Justin Havard, M.M.Ed.
Watch these live performances here: ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts on YouTube.