Coming soon to a web platform near you, Butler Community College’s theatre department proudly presents “JOE SENT ME: A GLIMPSE AT THE ROARING TWENTIES.”
“JOE SENT ME” is a minimalistic readers’ theatre, ‘theatre of the mind’ to show each actor’s ability to animate their character to life without intense actor to actor interaction.
“The ensemble members are: Ben Bolinger, Emma Burnett, Jade Darnell, Samuel Downey, Hannah Johnson, Kelsi Harris, Ian McDaniel, Tori Peavey, Chelsie Penner, Maddie Riter-Bowman, Caden Runnalls, Josh Staats, Christian Watkins, David Williams,” Director Bob Peterson said.
The play is not one of normalcy, actors are not going to fully interact, but tell stories of 1920’s.
“’JOE SENT ME’ is a montage of historical events that happened during the 1920s starting with the end of World War I and ending with the Great Depression,” Runnalls said. “Some scenes are readings of stories written during the time while other bits represent a historical event.”
Adapting to a new normal of COVID restrictions, Peterson, professor of theatre and speech, had to find a new way to showcase a production. Peterson and Samuel Sparks, professor of theatre and speech, direct productions throughout the year in a usual pattern of one to two plays or musical each semester with a children’s theatre in the spring.
Per new health and safety CDC guidelines, it is no longer safe for a traditional packed house show. To meet said guidelines, every person enters the building would have to wear a mask and sit at least three seats away on either side, and the row must be alternated to keep a six-foot bubble of safety. Instead of being uncomfortable for two to two and half hours, why not watch it from anywhere at any time?
Butler theatre department is working its best to do exactly that. Over the weekend of Friday, Sept. 25 through Sunday, Sept. 27, the “JOE SENT ME” cast assembled to perform a ‘live’ performance for the department to put out for viewing.
As of Wednesday, Sept. 30, the theatre department has yet to release where and when a live filmed video featuring a full-blown show will be hosted. According to Runnalls, who is starring in the play, the video has been sent to an editing company.