DCU Drama tries to cope with the global pandemic

Dara Browne

DCU Drama have postponed their semester two productions following the closure of DCU due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

On March 12th, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the closure of all schools and colleges to prevent the spread of the virus.

Following this, DCU Drama were required to indefinitely postpone their four shows; the contemporary show ‘The Graduate’, the member production ‘Aftermath’, the open rehearsal for Musical Theatre Intervarsities ‘ Fosse/Verdon’ and the musical ‘RENT.’

Chairperson of DCU Drama, Kate Gurren, said that work for the productions began as early as last summer.

“I remember Clara Mooney, Production Manager, and myself on holidays in Spain together in early September, trying to book St Pat’s Auditorium for the musical,” she told the College View.

Kevin Cleary, Vice Chairperson of DCU Drama, said that they are looking into options for performing each of the productions, however “there’s a lot of factors to consider between retention of rights, venue availability, production team and timetables, which makes it impossible to guarantee right now.”

Niamh Mary Martin, director of DCU Drama’s musical ‘RENT’, shared her feelings on the day that was supposed to be her opening night.

“Right this moment I’m supposed to be in St.Pat’s Auditorium stressed to my limits! The number of hours that I’ve spent from last November working on this show can feel like wasted time, but the experience and people I’ve met throughout it ground me and make it still feel worthwhile, make it worth fighting for,” she said.

“I do believe ‘RENT’ will have its opening night somewhere in the near future and that makes it all a little easier. Not to be overtly cheesy, but the show must go on, and I know within our team we’re going to do everything possible to ensure that,” she added.

DCU Drama has been striving to keep its members involved during this quarantine period by introducing weekly Tik Tok challenges and creating a Virtual Open Mic group page on Facebook, inviting their members to post videos of themselves being creative while at home in isolation.

“We’ve received amazing videos of original songs, cover performances, slam poetry and even an audio documentary! We believe seeing other people’s creativity will inspire others to remain creative at a time when it can be extremely hard,” Gurren said.

“The powerlessness of it all has been heartbreaking,” Cleary said. “However, it has been really uplifting and reassuring to see everyone involved come together, support each other and continue to find ways to use drama as a creative outlet/performance platform when we could have just come to a complete standstill.”

Gurren added that “although we are in scary and mentally taxing times, I believe our members embody our motto and will be able to ’embrace the wonderful’ no matter what the situation is.”

Update: 14/04/2020 15.28. This story has been corrected to say that the shows are postponed and not cancelled. The original article stated in the lede that the shows were cancelled which is not the case. The College View apologies for any inconvenience caused

Dara Browne

Image Credit: DCU Drama