Story by Anna Johns, Reporter
Photo courtesy pexels.com
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, Aquinas College Theatre has made the decision to postpone its spring show, “Antigone.” The production will be moved to the Fall season and any cast member who is willing and available will be able to play their role. This also includes students who will have graduated by then.
The decision was hard to make, but the department had considered factors such as rehearsals, set construction and the safety of both the audience and actors. Assistant Professor of Theatre and Director Kyle Westmaas believes this is the right decision. Though he is disappointed, he looks forward to future production.
“Theatre is by its nature a community event, meant to bring people together. Right now, forming that community would put individual lives in danger—it’s not worth the safety and well being of our students and patrons,” said Westmaas.
Across the country, theaters have been forced to close their doors. Many have postponed and even canceled their upcoming productions.
“Theatre will be here when this is all over to help people come together again, but right now, I think it’s best that everyone follow social distancing and remain at home,” said Westmaas.
It was a necessary choice. Some cast members are still disappointed, though they understand the reasoning. Cast member Ashley Postema is currently a Sophomore and this was her first role with Aquinas. She was looking forward to the social aspect of the production and is disappointed she will have to wait until fall. She said, “I’m thankful that we’ll still be able to put it on at this point, even if it’s at a later date.”
Kaeleb Cogswell is a Junior at Aquinas. He was cast as Creon in “Antigone.” However, he has also been cast in Circle Theatre’s production of “Hair,” which runs for three weeks in September. He fears that will limit his commitment to show and is unsure if he can reprise his role.
Though it is disappointing, Cogswell feels this was the best decision. He said he is grateful for his situation during the pandemic, but is still saddened by his upcoming theater gigs being canceled or delayed.
“My heart also goes out to the Grand Rapids theatre community; several local theatres are suffering financially due to the necessary cancellations and delays of their upcoming productions. They could really use people’s support right now,” said Cogswell.
While this is a very unfortunate situation, the show is scheduled for Fall and the cast is excited about this performance. Westmaas said, “I think it’s the best thing we can do right now for our college and our community. I wish my cast and my students the best and hope everyone is staying safe!”