Welcome to Fall 2020!
Dear Theatre Majors,
Welcome back to a new semester and academic year at FIU Theatre! I hope everyone is well and ready for a great semester.
We have never had a semester like this one. The world is facing enormous challenges at the moment as we deal with a global pandemic and a long-overdue reckoning on race and equity. Everyone’s life has been altered by this moment.
One thing that is true about theatre artists in general, and FIU Theatre artists in particular, is that we are resilient and do not back down from challenges. In fact, sometimes the greatest growth comes when we are challenged the most. I know many of you have experienced this firsthand in your classes and on our stages.
This semester will provide you with many challenges and opportunities to continue to find your voice and become the artist you want to be. Your faculty believes in you and we are committed to supporting you through this. You are not alone. We are all in this together.
Your faculty has been working hard this summer to ensure that your education and training can continue without a hitch. Classes have been adjusted to allow you to reach all of your learning objectives while following the necessary and important safety guidelines.
We have also come up with a full slate of production opportunities that will allow you to develop your craft, take creative risks, and collaborate with fellow artists in this new remote environment. When you take a step back and look at the totality of what we’re doing, you will see that there are many exciting possibilities.
We will be working on three virtual staged readings, The Miss Firecracker Contest by Beth Henley, Radium Girls by D.W. Gregory, and Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau. These readings will have two weeks of rehearsals, production meetings, and opportunities for designers.
We have also invited last year’s BFA performance majors to return to FIU to present their senior projects. They were in tech last semester when the university suspended all events and took all classes online. This semester they will get a chance to present their projects. Student designers will also get an opportunity to work with our new graduates on their shows.
Lastly, the department will be working on a devised theatre project. Students in Professor Yawney’s directing class will take the lead in creating these original plays which will be streamed online.
While a lot of our classes and production work is happening remotely, there are some instances where some of you may need to come to campus. At those times it is essential that you follow all of the safety guidelines which include wearing masks at all times and maintaining a safe social distance of more than six feet between each other.
FIU has developed a comprehensive plan to keep us all safe as we begin to repopulate campus. The plan is called “Panthers Protecting Panthers.” All students, faculty, and staff are required to complete a short course that walks you through the plan. The course should be completed by August 23rd and you can access it here.
Additionally, FIU has developed a new app, “Panthers Protecting Panthers (P3)” which is available in your app store. On days that you are coming to campus, you will be required to check in on that app and answer some questions to be cleared to be on campus.
These guidelines are in place for everyone’s safety and we are counting on all of you to be personally responsible for following them.
The situation with the pandemic is changing daily. Although we have a strong plan in place, those plans are in constant motion and can be changed based on the current situation. Communication will be more important than ever this semester. Please make sure you are checking your FIU email daily and checking for regular updates from the university.
Make sure you attend our important Fall Majors Meeting on Friday, August 28th at 3:30pm via zoom. This will be an opportunity to come together as a department, share important updates, meet our new students, and take our annual department photo (yes, on zoom!) You can attend the meeting here. The Meeting ID is 970 2194 8440 and the password is Fall20.
Remember we are in this together. On behalf of your entire faculty, I welcome you back. We can’t wait to see what we all accomplish as we rise to this challenge together.
Chair and Artistic Director