Performing Arts Altered

Upcoming Performing Arts showcase canceled or postponed indefinitely due to campus closure.


Courtesy of Donna Cory

The PDG showcase “Word Play,” a show centered around quotes and spoken word, has been postponed indefinitely.

With Bishop’s closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19, all aspects of student life have changed. Classes have been moved online, sports have been canceled, and many school-wide events such as Airband have been altered to make them accessible for students staying at home. While many events have been affected, one part of student life that faces major changes is performing arts.

For shows scheduled for later in the fourth quarter, there have been no official decisions about the course of action, as the school has set no definitive return time to on-campus learning as of yet. So students cast in, for example, the spring play, A Few Good Men, have been told to continue rehearsing their lines at home with family members. 

A Few Good Men also might be performed in a “festival style,” where there would be no choreographed lighting or sounds. This type of performance is much more casual and can be done without any Tech Week or other such preparations. A Few Good Men cast member Maddie Ishayik (‘23) is disappointed that rehearsals have been canceled but says that “[the cast members] are all doing our best to prepare on our own time” in hopes that the show will happen as scheduled. 

The majority of the other spring shows are following a similar course of action. Students in Orchestra, Jazz Band, and choral classes like Bishop’s Singers were told to “proceed with work as though [their shows] will be happening at some point,” said Chair of Performing Arts Dr. Chrisitine Micu. 

Dr. Micu is concerned about the unknown status of all of these events: “everything is very up in the air, which I think is the biggest issue for all of us,” she explained.

One show that has been officially changed is the Performing Dance Group (PDG) Spring concert. This year’s concert, “Word Play,” is centered around spoken word soundtracks and various quotes. The show was student-choreographed, with the exception of five pieces (two by Bishop’s faculty and three by alumni); as it was set to open on Thursday, March 19, all of the pieces had already been completed. Members of PDG had also blocked their pieces, meaning that they already spaced them out on the stage in the Taylor Performing Arts Center. Fortunately, the show was not canceled, only postponed indefinitely and will happen later in the year when (and if) school reopens. 

The group still has an opportunity to perform again in the April Response Project–also postponed–, a show where seniors choreograph pieces in response to another dance performance. However, this show is less formal than the spring concert. For senior members of PDG, the concert would have been their opportunity to present their senior solos, which each of them would have choreographed and performed.  

Members of PDG are disappointed that their show has been postponed, but still feel hopeful that the performance will happen. Gabe Worstell (‘20) said that although he wished the show could open as planned, he is “ready to start back up again and perform the art [he] worked very hard on.” Alex Spitzer (‘21) spoke on behalf of the whole group, saying “we are all so grateful to have each other and many people who are supporting us and trying to help us through this situation.”

The Instrumental Concert (scheduled for April 17 and 18), Studio Dance Group Show (scheduled for April 22), Jazz Performance (scheduled for April 23), and Performing Dance Group Recital (scheduled for April 28 and 29) have all been canceled. However, as the email from Bishop’s stated, “The Performing Arts Department is working on ways to showcase student performances via video sharing.” In the case that the campus reopens before the end of the school year, the email notes, the performances may be rescheduled.