SIU theater department to stage virtual show about the pandemic

By Elizabeth Hamilton, Staff Reporter

Edited 11/30/2020 7:51 p.m.

SIU’s theater 101 students and their instructor, Lavinia Roberts, were inspired to produce a virtual performance with 10 three to five minute plays about the pandemic.

The performance is called “Pandemic Plays! Some Socially Distanced Devised Drama,” and it will be live-streamed via YouTube on Nov. 28 at 2:00 p.m.


(See more: “Pandemic Plays! Some Socially Distanced Devised Drama).

“This project really came out of the necessity of wanting to give the theatre 101 students an experience that will both benefit them and put something positive out into the world,” Roberts said.

It hasn’t always been easygoing for the students or their instructors, and just like with everything else, changes and adaptation have been required, Roberts continued.

“Even though this play will be entirely online, our students have still needed to occasionally meet in small breakout groups to work on their skits, it’s been difficult as an instructor to try to keep track of all the different rooms and spaces as opposed to just having everyone all together in one classroom,” Roberts said.

The Pandemic Plays was created by a cast and crew of about 50 students who are mostly composed of freshman and sophomores.

“These kids have really worked to make the best out of this situation. I believe our audience is going to be pleasantly surprised at how much humor will be in these skits. These kids have really found a lot of ways to take this unusual situation to make people laugh,” Roberts said.

The play premiered on Nov. 28 and by Nov. 30, it received 65 views and 6 likes on YouTube.


“It’s really exciting for my students and myself to have such easy access to our performance I look forward to sharing it with my family and friends across the country and in the UK,” Roberts said.

“The students participating in this project, conducted research about how Covid-19 is affecting student life at SIU. They found local newspaper articles, many from the Daily Egyptian, conducted interviews of fellow students, as well as, shared their own experiences. Each brought in a prop that related to how the pandemic had impacted them. This included items such as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves or Kleenex boxes,” Roberts said.

“I want to make sure our crew members are highlighted, they put forth so much work, and many of them take on multiple roles and responsibilities to make the performance as best as it is,” Roberts said.

Staff reporter Elizabeth Hamilton can be reached at [email protected] you can also follow the Daily Egyptian on Twitter and Facebook.