What I Miss Most – Theatrically Speaking

It’s no secret that 2020 has been . . . weird. Challenging even. And the biggest challenge has been the extreme changes that COVID-19 brought into our lives. I’m so used to wearing my mask at work, sometimes I get all the way home and into my house before I remember to take it off. No dinners out with groups of friends, no gathering in large groups for . . . anything, really.

And no live theater. That one hurts.

March 13, 2020 was the very last day of school for us. We didn’t know it would be the last day. At first, Iowa schools were going to be closed for a couple of weeks. And then it was a couple more weeks. Eventually it became clear that we were going to end the school year doing things virtually. And that meant no Spring musical at FDSH. Not gonna lie – I shed some tears over that.

It’s not just my chances to direct or perform that I miss. I miss going to shows. I miss getting lost in a story for a couple of hours. I miss the chance to sit in a room with others – some I don’t even know – and share our responses to what is happening on the stage. The shared laughter, surprise, shock, and maybe even tears is an extremely unique experience because the performers get to share in all of it as well. And trust me when I say that a responsive audience adds an energy that performers almost crave.

I miss watching young performers at the beginning of their theatrical experience. I miss seeing the growth in young people I’ve had the privilege of working with repeatedly. I miss seeing family members share the stage in local community theater productions. And of course I miss seeing professional shows on the stage in Des Moines!

I miss the friendships, the inside jokes, the costume fittings, the frantic costume changes, the unexpected
moments that are always a part of a live production . . . It’s not an exaggeration to say that live theater is what I have missed the most during all of this.