Story by: Sonnet Moore
Pictured (from top left): Jordan Battle, Joshua Acoff, Ansley Lynn, Carter Eldridge, Robert Trammell, Sam Bolar, Sally Swanson, Tiffany Driskell, Jake Watford, Isabella Minter, Melody Page, and Caitlin Melvin
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, artists, creators, actors, and musicians have adjusted to the new normal. From Zoom calls of play readings to socially distant art shows, sharing and creating art is vital now more than ever. This period has been difficult, but the art scene flowing through Columbus, Georgia is nothing short of impressive. The 2020 BFA Theatre Performance class at Columbus State University is a fine example of impressive teamwork and artistry to create opportunities and work all by themselves.
Every spring, the Columbus State University Theatre Department puts on a showcase for their graduating seniors that are pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Performance. After four years of training in the Meisner Acting Technique, Lessac Voice and Movement, and Stage Combat, the graduates are prepared to showcase the work they will continue to do post-graduation.
The annual showcase is typically performed twice; once for the general Columbus public at the CSU Riverside Theatre, and then again for a group of agencies in Atlanta. CSU acting professors Larry McDonald and David Turner coach the actors, help them choose scenes that fit their abilities best, and travel with them to their Atlanta showcase. This year, it looks a little different.
With theatres postponing their seasons and auditions moving strictly to video submissions, the 2020 BFA class was left wondering what would happen with their showcase. Sally Swanson, a BFA performance student spoke with her classmates and decided they should work together to produce a virtual showcase in place of their cancelled production.
“I felt like the tradition of a senior showcase had to continue even if our only option was to make it a virtual experience,” Swanson said. “This career field is all about learning how to adapt and overcome any situation that may be thrown in your direction. Our BFA class is special and I couldn’t imagine closing this chapter without showing the world what we’ve got!”
The best way to support artists is by sharing their art, so if you’d like to view their 2020 BFA Senior Showcase, you may do so by watching the video below, edited by Ixchel Lopez.
*Please note that the monologues in the following video contain adult language and content.
This group of young artists have grit. They have the ability to overcome the challenges of today’s reality. They have creative minds and have worked hard to get exactly what they deserve, an opportunity to be seen and heard.
Sam Bolar, a member of the 2020 BFA performance class, spoke with us and shared, “By taking initiative and doing this ourselves, we aren’t letting the virus halt our creativity. It’s because of difficult times like this that we need to continue doing what we love and expressing ourselves now more than ever.” ◼