Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Theatre & Dance, housed in Chappelear Drama Center, is preparing its 2020-2021 season with new protocols to support physical distancing and personal safety. Its fall lineup will include a play and a contemporary dance experience. (Photo by Mark Schmitter ’12)

Staging a Comeback

Ohio Wesleyan Planning Two Theatre & Dance Events for Fall 2020

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – With its spring season curtained by the coronavirus, Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Theatre & Dance is excited to return to the stage this fall.

The department’s events will be different than in the past, with limited audience members, livestreaming, and a heightened awareness of the power of the international COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, two main productions are being planned for October and November.

Ohio Wesleyan’s fall theatrical event, “Inter/Sect,” will be a student-created piece facilitated and led by Ares Harper, OWU Class of 2019. Harper will collaborate with theatre instructor Bradford Sadler, M.F.A., OWU Class of 2005.

“The piece is going to ask students to generate material based on their experiences with the huge social issues we have been going through in 2020,” said Sadler, who also works as a professional actor, director, and performance coach.

“Inter/Sect” is intended to be a “performative exploration of the societal boundaries we create, accept, and ignore,” according to the department. “This original work will demand an audience willing to contest the inherent contradictions of American existence.” OWU’s production of “Inter/Sect” is tentatively planned for Oct. 2-4, with a limited in-person audience and live web streaming. Additional details will be forthcoming.

Also for fall semester, OWU’s annual dance performance, “Orchesis” will feature original work by students and by artistic director and OWU instructor Rashana Perks Smith, M.F.A. “Orchesis 20/21” is tentatively scheduled to take place over three weeks in October and November. Students will perform in non-traditional spaces, livestream pieces, and present dance films. More information will be forthcoming.

The Theatre & Dance Department also is planning other student events for fall, including playwriting class readings and original sketch readings by senior Adam Lieser of Columbus, Ohio.

For spring semester, beginning in January, the department is planning events including:

  • A “Winter Festival of Student Productions – 2021.”
  • An Instant Theatre event sponsored by the Wesleyan Players.
  • “Woyzeck, Inc.” by Georg Buchner, translated, adapted, and directed by OWU senior Logan Kovach of Westerville, Ohio.
  • Two One-Act Plays featuring “Medusa’s Tale” and “Time to Feast.” “Medusa’s Tale,” by Carol S. Lashof, will feature seniors Maggie Welsh of Ashville, Ohio; Joe Antal of Akron, Ohio; and Karina Primmer of Lorain, Ohio. It will be directed by senior F. Hansen of Groveport, Ohio. “Time to Feast,” by OWU student Jerrod Ward, will feature seniors Catherine Giacalone of Franklin, Massachusetts, and Ward of Loudonville, Ohio. It will be directed by junior Aaron Eicher of West Salem, Ohio.
  • A new play reading by senior Garrick Bostwick of Akron, Ohio.
  • A spring senior project production by senior Miko Harper of Sandy Springs, Georgia.
  • Directing Class/Playwriting Class One-Act Plays, featuring original works by OWU student directors and playwrights.
  • A spring theatre event directed by OWU instructor Sadler.

More information on all 2020-2021 season productions – including dates, times, audience-viewing opportunities – will be forthcoming. For the latest OWU Theatre & Dance information, visit owu.edu/TheatreAndDance.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at owu.edu.