Theatre department to virtually stream upcoming performance

Grace Scarberry, Reporter

The Ashland University Theatre department will be performing “The Theory of Relativity,” directed by Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, in early March.

Due to Coronavirus restrictions, the performance will be streamed virtually for students and the public to view, with the purchase of a ticket. Currently, the department is working to establish a streaming date.

For now, with the help of the Journalism and Digital Media department, as well as the Music department, Durbin-Ames and the cast are spending their time rehearsing for the recording.

Although 2020 brought upon many difficulties, Durbin-Ames said their biggest success is being able to continue performances.

“The fact that we’ve had two live productions is an incredible success,” she said. “I can remember last spring going ‘how are we going to do this next year,’ but it was the resilience of our students.”

Last fall, the department was able to have two live performances with 100 people in the audience inside the Hugo Young Theatre, which typically holds up to 700 audience members.

Senior musical theatre major, Macy Campbell, has accepted these changes with a positive attitude.

“These changes have taught me that sometimes there might end up being circumstances where you can’t do theatre in the conventional way, however, the show must always go on,” she said.

The show will go on. “The Theory of Relativity,” is what’s known as a song cycle.

This differs from the more common musical forms because there are no scenes. Rather, it is a collection of songs all related in some way.

Although there are some monologues, viewers can expect to see solos and duets that tell their own stories, rather than one big one.

However, they all have the same theme. Togetherness.

“Every musical and play brings an important message to all audiences,” Campbell said. “This one in particular brings the message of togetherness and how important everyone in our lives are to us. Every person we come across alters our lives in some way, shape or form.”

Hence the name, “The Theory of Relativity” is loosely based on science, specifically a mixture of Einstein’s famous theories.

Durbin-Ames compared it to word problems from a science class.

“It’s like those big word problems we remember from school,” she said. “With person A and Person B, if one’s going one speed and another’s going another speed, when will they meet and how will they affect one another?”

Each song is meant to explain a transitional point in a young adult’s life.

For example, one song talks about a boy meeting with the father of the girl he wants to propose marriage to. Another is about best friends in high school who drift apart once they get to college.

“There’s all kinds of great songs, but at the end of the day, they are all saying ‘I am nothing without you,’ Durbin-Ames said. “We need one another.”

This idea of needing one another greatly impacts the Theatre department. Being able to do these shows gives the students an outlet to have a face to face connection.

“It is so wonderful to just get to hear these voices and just to be able to create live music and theatre again,” Durbin-Ames said.

Tickets can be purchased from the AU Bookstore either in person or by calling 419-289-5336. Ticket prices are $2 for AU students and $5 for everyone else.

Be sure to check the AU Theatre Facebook page and be on the lookout for flyers with more information regarding the official date of the show.

“This musical is really amazing at showing these different character’s stories from their perspective and how everyone may lead different lives but we are all affected by the people around us,” Campbell said. “It is a wonderful musical and I hope everyone gets a chance to experience it.”