Anthony LaRosa
JRNM 151

The show must go on.

That is the mindset of Jeremy Benjamin, the director of theatre for Lorain County Community College’s student theatre program. After having to cancel their spring show earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Benjamin has found himself in a difficult situation of planning the theatre’s upcoming year.

A rehearsal scene from The Imaginators. Submitted photo.

A rehearsal scene from The Imaginators. Submitted photo.

“All live performances nationwide have been shut down since March. So, we really had to figure out how we could do something that we could present in a socially distanced manner,” Benjamin said.

Luckily for him and all the students involved in the program “all the stars aligned” in the middle of August.

Rachael Endrizzi, Spark Theatre director and LCCC theatre alumni, approached Benjamin about a collaboration in order to help make sure their shows went on. The Spark Theatre Company is a local theatre that “exists to celebrate the power of young people through professional theatre,” according to their website. Spark tours local K-12 schools performing professional theatre productions at school assemblies.

“We are collaborating to produce and film two productions, one in the fall, and one in the spring,” Benjamin said. “We are filming and shooting right on campus, and then they are going to edit those down and present those as virtual assemblies so we can still bring theatre to the schools and the community. It’s allowing us to continue doing what we do and continue to expose our students to the curriculum but doing so in a safe and socially distant manner.”

A single, socially distanced and limited capacity performance of their production, The Imaginators by Dwayne Hartford, will be held on Nov. 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hoke Theatre at Stocker Center.

The students began rehearsals for this play on Zoom and just recently met in person while staying socially distanced and wearing masks in their rehearsal space. Everybody working on the show will be tested two-three days before the filming day in order to guarantee a safe environment to take off their masks.

Benjamin said, “There has been a lot of planning involved to make this safe. Everybody is being very careful in their daily lives.”

In spring, LCCC Theatre program along with Spark Theatre Company will produce Posters & Flip Flops by LCCC alumni Jeremy Gaydosh.