Theatre department to stage creative production

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Some historical references place the first use of the expression “the show must go on” back in the 1800s when circus performers continued their acts regardless of tigers on the loose or falls from the trapeze.

The phrase has been repeated throughout the years to describe just about any activity that refuses to be deterred by circumstances. So, of course David Kaye and his theater major students have applied the thinking to what would have been their production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” slated to run this month.

“I have been rehearsing actors using Zoom for about two years…. But this is way beyond that — I’m pretty much making this up as I go along.”

Students have been preparing for months; they were cast last November. Three are seniors. “The Curious Incident” would have been their last performance at UNH. Production was to start right after spring break. And then, on-campus classes and courses were canceled.

A videoconference with cast and crew ended with the decision to get rid of the “would haves” and move forward. The show — albeit a variation of the actual production — will go on. “The Curious Indecent of a Curious Incident: A Pandemic Meta-Play” premieres via Zoom April 16, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m.

“I have been rehearsing actors using Zoom for about two years; with Power Play, we hire actors around the country for projects,” says Kaye, professor of theatre and dance. “Two years ago we Zoomed in two actors from New York City for a staged reading of the “Honor Killing.” But this is way beyond that — I’m pretty much making this up as I go along.”

Twelve students will participate in the production from their homes. One student will serve as the stage manager and “drive” the play, handling the flow of microphones and cameras. Kaye will run sound from his computer. All of this will make use of flashlights, clip lights, reading lights — whatever they can get their hands on to light their respective spaces.

“I feel this has been an important project for the students as it gives them something tangible to hold on to,” Kaye says. “It has allowed them to share and process so much of what they are experiencing, and finding some good out of it —turning it into art.

Register in advance to attend the free performance, which is about an hour long. You must be virtually seated no later than 7:30 p.m. Latecomers can’t be virtually admitted.