The show must go on

Theatre is back at the University of Winnipeg

University of Winnipeg theatre students rehearse for their performance of Scenes from Love and Information.

After a year of online learning, students and staff in the University of Winnipeg Theatre and Film Department are happy to be back together in the classroom and on stage.

“It’s rebellious,” Christopher Brauer, chair of the Department of Theatre and Film, says. “In the time of COVID where we’re all worried about survival – economic survival (and) physical survival – to go and (say) in the face of that, ‘I’m going to make art,’ I think that is incredibly brave and exciting and invigorating.”

Brauer says that, under the current circumstances, performing “becomes an even more brave and noble pursuit.”

“That’s why we do this. That is what (the theatre department is) here for, to give people the tools to do that, to stand in the face of (any obstacle) and say ... ‘let’s tell a story that helps our souls survive this.’”

Two shows from the department are welcoming virtual live audiences this term.

This past week, from Nov. 17 to 20, Re-Vision: An Evening of Solo Performances took the stage. The show was created and performed by students in the fourth-year honours Devised Theatre class and directed by professor Claire Borody.

The second show, Scenes from Love and Information, will run virtually from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. Directed by Tom Stroud, associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Film, and performed by the fourth-year honours acting class, this play, written by Caryl Churchill, a British feminist playwright, explores nuanced themes and provides performers with the freedom to explore each scene and make it their own.

“It’s been a very organic process,” Stroud says.

While pandemic precautions have created challenges, staff and students remain optimistic and grateful to be back together and sharing art with the public.

“It has been a wonderful process, (and it is) delightful to be back in person,” Stroud says.

There are six actors in Scenes from Love and Information, all of whom have been extremely dedicated and enthusiastic about the show, despite the many barriers they’ve faced.

“As an actor in this time, it’s been a little (wild) getting used to this new medium of online theatre,” Griffin Kehler, one of the actors in the show, says.

For student actors like Kehler, COVID offered a new perspective on the world of theatre and performance.

“If anything, it made me more adaptable in my acting process, just making me ... more available to different scenarios,” Kehler says.

During a live theatre show, actors are able to play off the energy of the audience, creating pauses for reactions. The online format does not allow for this kind of audience interaction but does promote accessibility, as family, friends, and theatre-lovers can watch the show across the globe.

For more information about the upcoming shows, visit

Published in Volume 76, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 25, 2021)

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