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University Director to Conduct Online Shakespeare Play

The Saginaw Valley State University theatre director will lead another challenging rendition of a play when she directs a new production via Zoom, which has been used by theatre companies during the pandemic.

by Victoria Ritter, Midland Daily News / June 17, 2020
Shutterstock/dennizn

(TNS) — Karla Kash is no stranger to directing challenging productions of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Once, she led a group of fourth graders portraying the zany Athenian characters featured in one of the world's original romantic comedies.

The Saginaw Valley State University assistant professor of theatre later this month will lead another challenging rendition of the play when she directs SVSU's second production presented via Zoom, the popular Internet teleconferencing program utilized by theatre companies during the pandemic. Audiences can watch the play live online for free at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18.

The Internet-based production allows actors to play roles from the comfort of their homes, with each actor occupying a single panel in a multi-panel video session. The setup means Kash will be organizing the production design and leading rehearsals with cast and crew remotely.

"I tend to be a very physical director during rehearsals, so this will not be easy for me," said the Dayton, Ohio native. "You're missing that in-person human interaction that comes when you're in the room with each other, but there are advantages to this format too."

One of those advantages: The audience will have unlimited access to her students' work.

While the play will be performed live, a recorded version also will be available for those unable to attend the debut. And, while audiences will miss out on attending a play at SVSU's beloved performing arts venues, the seating capacity is unlimited on the world wide web. Since SVSU hosted a Zoom production of "Macbeth" in mid-April, the recording has been viewed more than 9,700 times on Facebook.

The cast largely features SVSU students, but four of the 14 roles will be played by out-of-state professional stage actors that Kash previously has worked alongside.

"This is going to be a great learning experience for our students to work with professional actors we couldn't otherwise invite to participate in a campus production," Kash said.

©2020 the Midland Daily News (Midland, Mich.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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