October 21, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) - The Belhaven Theatre Department will present several performances this semester in spite of the challenges of COVID-19.

"As it became clear to us that the pandemic was not going away, we at Belhaven Theatre determined that we would not let COVID-19 keep us from telling stories and learning our craft,” said Chair of Theatre Department Dr. Elissa Sartwell. “We are not willing to sit on the sidelines while others 'figure out' what theatre will look like in a post-coronavirus world. We've chosen a fall production season that allows students to engage with and explore three different approaches to virtual theatre.”

The first play of the semester is Check Please Check Please posterand will stream October 28-31 on Broadway on Demand. You can request a free streaming access code by emailingboxoffice@belhaven.edu. Sartwell said, "Check Please" takes a playful look at the pitfalls and peculiarities of blind dating, set against the backdrop of Zoom dating during a pandemic.” Check Please is directed by senior theatre major Ian Clarke and features a cast of 12 student-actors.

The second production, The BearThe Bear, has been reconceived as a radio play at a college in the 1970s. With a full six feet of distance between actors at all times, this production was filmed with live-streaming equipment and will stream November 4-7 on the University's YouTube channel.

The final production of the semester,The Spoon River Project, features a larger cast and even Spoon River Posterincludes singing. Sartwell adds, “Through careful use of masks, staggered rehearsals, and lots of hand-washing, we were able to film this play with multiple cameras and multiple takes.” The final edited version ofThe Spoon River Project will stream November 11-14 on Broadway on Demand.

"It's not been easy to do theatre during a pandemic, but our faculty and students are problem solvers,” observed Sartwell. “We're resilient, and we've learned a great deal about stories and story-telling as we've had to modify our typical processes to provide for the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community members. We are excited that our shows can be viewed by family and friends who don't live close to Jackson. Anybody in the world can watch our fall shows this semester."

Email boxoffice@belhaven.edu to watch any of the three fall productions. A box office employee will follow up and make sure participants have the appropriate link and/or streaming code to watch the show of their choice.