First Advisor

Karin Magaldi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Theater Arts and University Honors


Music & Theater




COVID-19 (Disease) and the arts, Theater -- Production and direction -- United States, Theaters -- United States -- Safety measures




Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the theatre industry had to make massive shifts from March 2020 through May 2021. Many theatres went out of business because there was a lack of government funds available for the arts and entertainment industries. However, some theatres turned to virtual productions or in-person shows that meet CDC guidelines while others shut down completely. This paper describes the transitions made in the American theatre industry due to the pandemic through my experience working on a virtual production and interviews conducted with other artists.

I assistant directed a virtual production of Top Girls at Portland State University during the pandemic. I will be utilizing my experience working on the show to describe some of the pros and cons of virtual theatre. I also conducted interviews with two theatre artists who worked on productions in the pandemic, Kay Cates and Olivia Henry. I will be using their experience as well as my own to highlight the shifts in theatre during the pandemic. Virtual theatre allows for a re-imagination in the form of productions. It makes people more creative and helps art become more accessible. However, virtual theatre lacks the chemistry and unique live quality of theatre, but in-person shows that meet CDC guidelines were still able to possess this.


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