The Spartan
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The Spartan

Tune In! Live plays are back, starting Thursday at YCP with Macbeth

After a long absence, live plays return this evening through March 27 at York College of Pennsylvania.

By Jalil Dixon

uite simply, it’s been a while since we’ve had plays that actually take place on a stage. But wait no longer. York College of Pennsylvania is bringing live plays back with an innovative live-stream experience of Macbeth. Directors and actors alike are incredibly excited to get back to doing what they love and putting on a show for the YCP community.

Director Suzanne Delle is putting her own creative spin on things with this ‘70s-esque, disco-filled, socially distanced adaptation of the classic, Macbeth. Expect singing. Expect dancing. And be sure to tune in today, Friday, and Saturday at 7 p.m. on YCP Theatre’s Youtube page for the show, which will be held at the Waldner Performing Arts Center.

Throughout the pandemic, directors and actors have been able to participate in plays, albeit by more unconventional means. Delle mentions how since last March she has participated in several plays, but they were either done outdoors or on everyone’s favorite platform, Zoom. But for her, the last time that she has done a large stage production was back in October 2019 — an extensive 17-month period.

Understandably, this opportunity means a lot for so many involved, including Becca Gibbs, an experienced actor who has taken on the roles of Lady Macbeth and the 3rd Witch. When asked what it was like to be getting back out there performing in person, Gibbs says, “It feels so good … I’m really excited to be on stage.”

Becca Gibbs, a junior at York College of Pennsylvania

For Gibbs, being in this role is an important career stepping stone and a good role to have on a resume. Though the process and the role have been very different with having to adapt to all the COVID-19-required changes, particularly with having to rely more on voice as opposed to facial expressions, Gibbs says “it was necessary to move forward with my career.”

With this production, the entire team — a collaboration between 3 YCP classes: Classical Acting, Modern Dance, and Broadcast Portfolio — had to be very smart and careful with this process. The team was sure to take every precaution possible to not only adhere to the implemented guidelines but also to simply keep each other safe.

“We’ll manage social distancing when we’re in rehearsal, in the space,” Gibbs says. “Masks always, always gotta have the masks, but yeah, we’re doing everything we can. And then if there’s like anything going on, like if anyone’s feeling sick, they just don’t go to rehearsal just to keep everyone safe.”

Even getting dressed and having makeup applied was also quite challenging and time-consuming. “We all have to go in little increments into the changing rooms. There can only be three people at a time in there, so it takes a little bit of extra time to prep,” Gibbs says.

Delle and her team are expanding what many had thought was initially impossible with the campus-wide COVID restrictions in place, but she has been creative and innovative. Instead of letting the campus-wide restrictions limit the play and her vision, she has utilized these aspects, played around with them and made them crucial parts of the play. There will be color-coded masks based on who each actor is playing, microphones, and physical distance that is literally incorporated into the story.

“So that’s been really fun to sort of just play with that,” she says.

There are three shows: Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All will begin at 7 and are being live-streamed.

Even though this was, and still is, a new experience for everyone involved, there has been an incredible amount of enjoyment with this process. “It’s just been so lovely and fulfilling to be back in the rehearsal room together,” Delle says.

There have been so many caveats with this, such as adapting to new actors and new guidelines, having to adjust the schedule and do several Zoom rehearsals, and even experiencing difficulties with makeup and dressing the actors. But through it all, Delle, Gibbs and everyone involved is in prime position to put on a great play for the YCP community.

Jalil Dixon is a Professional Writing major with an anticipated graduation in spring 2023.

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