Livestream performances continue a vital part of learning for Music, Theatre and Dance students

With performances before live audiences on hold, livestream performances are the way for audiences to watch students and faculty members from the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance showcase their work.

While the platform is providing an important service to those who want to watch these performances, it is also important that it allows for live performances, which are a crucial aspect of the performing arts educational experience, said Danny Phipps, department chair.

"One of the fundamental priorities that we have as a department is to ensure that our students are not only learning their musical, acting or dancing skills, but that they have the experience of playing for an audience," Phipps said. "That experience requires training to master the stress and the anxiety and to present their best work."

A person playing a piano
Performing live has multiple educational benefits.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills

Phipps said the department has designated a Haas Center for Performing Arts room for the performances, which are done using extensive safety protocols based on cutting-edge scientific research pertaining to the unique conditions for those in the performing arts. Students and faculty members will perform for a short time, then go to an extended intermission so that specialized air purifiers can work, he said.

Nate Bliton, the department's equipment and performance space technician, is working with the performers to optimize a safe and educational experience. He also wants to help make the live performance as authentic as possible.

"I may roll in some of the acoustic shells to place behind them to help with sound and look a little bit more like a stage," Bliton said.

He is also mindful that the performers won't receive the feedback of a live audience and is willing to help there, too. "I'm leaving it up to the students whether they want me to clap between songs," Bliton said.

Even without the instant feedback, Phipps noted, performers are keenly aware that they are still in the spotlight.

"There is very little difference between a camera and a live audience. We deal with same kind of anxieties as we do with an audience," Phipps said.

Haas Center for Performing Arts
Students and faculty members continue their work while using extensive safety protocols.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts

To watch the events

Find information and watch performances here.

Information about the virtual production of "The Revolutionists" is available here.

Pablo Mahave-Veglia, associate professor of cello, is presenting a Bach cello series that is available on the livestream website as well as the department's Instagram account.