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‘Life is a Dream’ to debut as first production since spring 2020

UNK Louie Loper

Theatre is heading back to the stage at UNK. “Life is a Dream” will be the first mainstage production since the 2020 spring semester after cancellations because of the COVID-19 virus.

Students couldn’t be more excited to be back on stage.

“I look forward to keeping the arts alive,” said Billy Deardoff, student director of the show. “Just putting on a show means so much to so many people.”

Auditions took place last week in the Miriam Drake Theatre on campus.

Several safety precautions have already been taken to ensure the wellbeing of the students.

Auditions were split up into one-hour blocks, with only 10 people allowed in the theater during that time. Students had to wear masks while reading for their audition, and volunteers sanitized scripts by wiping down protective laminated sleeves between uses. Social distancing was also in place, with gaps between seats in the Miriam Drake Theater and tape marking where actors should stand for group scenes.

The cast includes Daisy Hawkins, Steven Boldt, Mitchell Lierman, Zachary Petry, Tony Koetters, Angel Qualset, Cole Perkins, Lexi Powell, Hannah Petersen and Taury Himmerich.

As of now, performances and rehearsals will also require daily temperature checks in addition to social distancing and mask use.

Deardoff is proud to be directing such a monumental show, especially in the midst of a pandemic.

“This art form is already struggling, so it just means a lot that, no matter what the circumstances, we can still do what we love and do it with a certain level of safety and expertise,” Deardoff said.

Lexi Powell, a student involved in the production, isn’t too worried about the virus.

“The theatre department is very active about keeping COVID precautions in place,” Powell said. “I knew that they would use every precaution possible to make this safe for us.”

Powell is excited to step on stage again in a different role than usual.

“Normally I’m just a dancer,” Powell said. “We don’t say any lines; we don’t act. I’m looking forward to acting as well as getting to move within that part.”

“Life is a Dream” performances will take place April 21 through the 25 in the Miriam Drake Theatre located in the Fine Arts Building.

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