Perhaps the most disorienting part of the ongoing pandemic is to observe public spectacle grounded by the same precautions as everyone else. It’s reminiscent of pre-coronavirus days when we see TV commercials and nobody is wearing a mask.
Sometimes, though, the masks are unavoidable, and even the spectacle cannot get away from the mask. And that will be the case when student actors and crew present the fall drama, “Hades: A Retelling of the Persephone Myth,” via live streaming on Nov. 19, Nov. 20 and Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 22 at 3 p.m.
Theater director Ms. Maria Souza had an idea to incorporate masks more naturally into the fall play. She said, “There is a Mexican-American playwright, her name is Nelly E. Cuellar-Garcia, (and) she takes old classic tales, tales of mythology, Greek, Roman tragedies, these sorts of things, and then puts them into a modern vernacular.”
Souza said, “That became an attractive choice because I could use some of those traditional methods of performance with masks, performance in choral settings, but still have an interesting story that might be something high school students could relate to.”
The drama will be staged with precautions and will allow for a very small number of audience members in the auditorium. The performance will differ from past productions in other way as well. Souza said, “It will not be traditional in terms of there won’t be any touching, no one will be standing directly next to one another, and we’ll all be sort of that stadium arena acting which is less about close moments, and we will all be using a style of acting referred to as stadium acting which is less about close moments and more about a larger collaboration.”
Souza has worked with her actors to ensure their safety. She said, “It’s going to be a process unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before.” Similarly, Souza told the audience to expect, as she put it, “something they’ve never seen before. It’s going to be grand and unlike anything Cathedral theater has ever done before.”