Last Friday evening, the Bowdoin Department of Theater and Dance traded in vocal warm-ups and a house packed full of Bowdoin students for rapid pre-performance COVID-19 testing and cameras placed in an empty Pickard Theater for a staged production of the “Cows of War.” The play, written by Department of Theater and Dance Coordinator Callie Kimball and directed by Associate Professor of Theater Abigail Killeen, marks the Department’s first production since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
In the COVID-19 era, art looks and sounds different. Vibrant coffee houses have fallen silent, open mics are now closed and the murmur of a live audience has been reduced to quiet clapping and small hands snapping in the corner of a Zoom screen.
Singer and songwriter Ariana Smith ’21 released “Nostalgia,” an acoustic single, earlier this month. “Nostalgia” is Smith’s second of two produced songs—both of which she released after Bowdoin’s campus switched to remote learning due to the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With only first years, transfer students and a select few upperclass students on campus this semester, maintaining club connections requires extra creativity in the virtual sphere. Ursus Verses, one of Bowdoin’s coed a cappella groups, is working to overcome the challenges of remote learning and to cultivate a supportive musical environment despite the distance.
When the initial surge of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States led to the shutdown of public spaces nationwide, one of the first things that Brunswick-based singer/songwriter Pete Kilpatrick did was purchase recording equipment with hopes to continue making music.
Between a pandemic and a precarious political climate, very little has gone according to plan over the past several months, and the world has had to learn how to improvise. “Improvabilities,” Bowdoin’s oldest improvisational comedy group, has worked to modify and adapt their craft to suit a remote model.
This semester, without the ability to gather in the studio or rehearse on stage, faculty in the visual and performing arts have had to come up with creative approaches to remote instruction and artistic community-building. Despite these challenges, students have begun the semester with great enthusiasm, filling introductory courses and, in some cases, becoming part of long waitlists.
Chase Tomberlin ’20 took inspiration from the Frank Sinatra song “A Man Alone” for the title of his one-man senior studio show. Little did he know, this title would find new meaning in a world of social distancing and remote learning.
Theater productions without dialogue, props or scene changes may seem unthinkable, but miming is a traditional art with a new look in the 21st century. Tonight, three mimes from Broken Box Mime Theater (BKBX) will arrive on campus to present students with an up-close insight into this complex and underrepresented form of storytelling.
On Tuesday night, students and community members were taken on a journey in Kresge Auditorium with the performance of “Voyage sans Visa, Tukki saa suné (Voyage without a Visa),” which followed immigrants travelling from Senegal to France.
As she prepares to graduate in a few weeks, senior Jae-Yeon Yoo will present the final incarnation of her capstone project “Puberty II,” a musical centered on the experiences of three fictional Asian-American women at a predominantly white liberal arts college, in Studzinski Recital Hall at 7 p.m.
Madeleine Lemal-Brown ’18, one of three presidents of the Bowdoin Slam Poets Society, was inspired to start writing poetry because of Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“For me, that was really the first time I had heard anyone [perform] in a way that wasn’t quite rap, but it was this lyrical poetry type of thing,” she said of the writer and star of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.”
Lemal-Brown is president along with sophomores Sabrina Hunte and John-Paul Castells.