Friday, April 17, 2020

The show will not go on

Friday would have marked the debut of the production of “Twelfth Night” at the University of Illinois Springfield. Instead, there will be a virtual cast party on Zoom, said UIS associate professor of theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, who is also the play’s director.

“I suspect there will be tears,” she said. Nearly 30 people, from actors to scene designers to costume designers, were involved in some facet of the play since January.

The cast had planned to gather March 15 for its first rehearsal after spring break, but that was also nixed, so it never had a chance to re-assemble before members went their separate ways. “I still really haven’t had a chance to process it,” Thibodeaux-Thompson said.

For Claire Starling, a senior from New Berlin who was cast as Olivia, it was the first time performing in a Shakespeare play and the first time working with Thibodeaux-Thompson. “I was definitely really disappointed because it got to the point where it was actually coming together,” said Starling, an English major at UIS. “It was abrupt.”

One of the saving graces, Thibodeaux-Thompson said, is that “Twelfth Night” is scheduled at UIS next spring. Some students, may be moving on while others, like Starling, who will be doing graduate work at UIS, haven’t committed to the project. “They were a wonderful group of people. To see everyone (on Zoom) is going to be like a reunion, but I miss being in the room where it happens,” said Thibodeaux-Thompson, summoning a line from “Hamilton.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on April 16, 2020.

Read the entire article online.