With the onset of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, both lives and livelihoods are at risk. Theatre is an inherently live and intimate art form. Paired with the closing of Broadway and the West End, theatre instructors are now asked to adapt their curriculum to fit an online structure in order to protect themselves and their students. Some argue that, with the absence of liveness, an inability to connect energetically with fellow actors to tell a story, and the inevitable time lag of online theatre, what we are creating is no longer theatre at all. Others are beginning to see the benefits of a virtual space.
Yes, it is possible to teach theatre online
Teaching theatre virtually grants a broader range of students the opportunity to engage with the art form. Most importantly, remote teaching is the safest option amid a pandemic.
Virtual theatre is accessible and provides new opportunities for students.
Virtual theatre has become the solution for artists and students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since theatre was so inaccessible pre-COVID, some believe that online content is building bridges of accessibility theatre has never seen before. Others believe it is building barriers.
Considering both resources and safety, teaching theatre online is the best option
Due to COVID-19, theatre classes have shifted online to protect their students. While some believe this is detrimental to the art form, others think that this is not only the best option for students' health, but it offers access to resources and opportunities previously impossible for them.
The experience of acting and production are social. Without theatre companies creating this social context, it will seriously damage the theatrical art form.
Virtual theatre is no longer theatre in its true form
The COVID-19 pandemic has sent theatre into a period of transformation. Traditionally it's a live, in-person experience but it has now been moved online. Some believe we can't call this theatre and that it's something else entirely, while others believe this is due change for the theatrical world.
It is only possible to teach theatre online if we allow the art form to evolve
While it is a novel concept to the artform, technological advancements all the teaching of theatre remotely. The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded many traditions to adapt, and theatre is no different.
Theatre is a direct response to the world we live in
Virtual theatre has shaken the artistic community at its core. Some believe theatre has been stripped of its most fundamental element of sharing energy, while others believe this is an opportunity for innovation and looks to the future of theatre.
Teaching theatre online allows the students to gain a deeper understanding.
In today's beliefs of what makes true theatre, emphasis is placed upon the necessity of liveness. At its core, theatre's meant to be an of-the-moment spectacle, audience or no audience. In this case theatre is very much alive and still happening right under our noses, just not on the typical stage.