CoronavirusFeatures

MCC collaborates with Arizona Theatre Company for Coronalogs

Mesa Community College (MCC) students are collaborating with Arizona Theatre Company to create a presentation livestreamed from Dec. 10-12 about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives.

Kevin Dressler, the director of the MCC Theatre and Film Arts program, described the presentation as, “an opportunity for students to express a wide variety of aspects of life under COVID-19–the tragic, the comic and mundane–through the use of script writing, performance and media.”  

COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s lives, and these impacts can be a way to connect with each other. Coronalogs will provide students with the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas through the medium of film and theater. The stories range from being an essential worker to being higher risk, as well as moving social activities to an online platform.

There are approximately 11 short scenes or monologues. MCC sent camera and lighting equipment to students to film their work. The students are then tasked with sending the equipment back, where it is cleaned and sterilized before being sent to another student.

MCC cultivated a collaboration with ATC through Ruth Sager, the production manager for the Theatre and Film Arts program. She connected with her friend Chanel Bragg, the associate artistic director of ATC.

MCC has, “ended up turning to ATC, asking them to provide a lot of the subject matter experts to come in,” said Sager. Translating work in a theater format into film takes expertise.

“And then, also, they are helping us with the final editing phase,” added Sager. The monologues represent different perspectives. “ATC will be taking that content and will be weaving that throughout all of the work that we have created and edited and put together.”

MCC is not the only college partnering with ATC to create works for the Coronalogs project. Other campuses include Glendale Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, and Arizona Western College. MCC is the first to create works for the project.        

The pandemic has forced people to avoid large gatherings, and this has affected the theater industry. 

“This is a multifaceted project. It provides a way for theater students to express their feelings about living in a COVID environment, plus share their feelings with the community at-large,” Dressler said. “…The project provides a quality production opportunity for faculty and staff, because the project can be filmed and shared through livestreamed media. It is a great way for all parties to remain vibrant and involved in an important, creative theater-related project.” 

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