Theatre is back (kind of)

Ferris theatre finds ways to continue despite the pandemic

Graphic by: Charlie Zitta | Production Manager

It’s been a challenging year for Ferris theatre, but despite the unknowns, the cast and crew are working together to perform the play, ‘Puffs,’ this March.  

‘Puffs’ was initially performance-ready in March of 2020. However, all production was halted due to the pandemic just a week before the show. 

Prior to the shutdown, the production was, “pretty near perfect, Katherine LaPietra, the coordinator for directing and acting at Ferris said.  

When the production for Puffs, the Harry Potter parody, had to be shut down “It was heartbreaking” LaPietra said. She had been directing and preparing for production with the cast and crew for months.  

This past fall Ferris theatre led by LaPietra decided to embark on the daunting journey of creating a musical via video recording. The actors never met in person, rather all interaction, singing and filming were done online. The result is “The Theory of Relativity,” a musical that is still available for streaming on the Ferris website.  

“We ended up with a decent product considering what all of us had to go through (to make it,” LaPietra said.  

AJ Arechiga is a sophomore at Ferris, he performed in the musical this fall and has been involved in other productions as well.  

Looking ahead, there is a lot of unknown regarding college theatre. LaPietra plans to perform the play, ‘Puffs,’ that got shut down in the spring of 2020 this March. However, the cast is not yet sure what format the production will be in.  

“I’m excited for the possibilities of what we can do with Puffs, and while I’m certainly hoping for, and looking forward to, in-person theatre returning in the fall, I think this show is still going to turn out amazing,” junior Jared Ebels said.  

The past couple of weeks all the rehearsals of ‘Puffs’ have been happening via zoom, LaPietra said. She and her cast and crew have been looking into various options regarding the delivery of this show to the audience. They have considered live streaming among other options; however, they have not fully decided on anything.   

LaPietra explained that one thing she loves about Ferris theatre is that it draws people from all the programs the university offers.  

“For the four main characters of the next show (Puffs) we have a math major, an English education major, a digital media major and a computer services major,” LaPietra said.  

With all the blessings of the community, there has also been loss. In her years at Ferris LaPietra said that a total of seven alumni involved with Ferris theatre have passed away including two former students who passed away from COVID-19.   

Despite the challenging year it has been for LaPietra and Ferris theatre, they have found ways to continue telling stories. They eagerly anticipate the production of, ‘Puffs,’ in whatever format they can perform it and they eagerly await the day that in-person theatre can resume.