In December of 2020, I brought The Shape of a Girl by Joan MacLeod to the CCT board as a possible stage production. “It’s very COVID friendly as it is a one person show,” I stated to them and I promised to maintain physical distancing and other COVID related protocols during the production period. When we started rehearsals in February, I was hopeful that we would be able to have a live audience by the time the show would run in May of 2021.
Every day I watched the COVID numbers. Unfortunately, they were rising. I tried to remain hopeful and continued to work diligently towards getting to our official show launch. It was shortly before we launched, when the Circuit Breaker restrictions were announced. My heart sank as it was officially confirmed at this point that we would not be able to have a live audience. We would only be able to live stream the event and our past attendance via live streaming was not great.
After seeing the emotion and dedication that the lead actors, Cheyanne Kneller and Jelena Jensen, were putting into their parts, I could not let the show go on poorly attended. I also felt that this show needs a live audience to grasp the full effect of the lighting, sound, and projection.
I spoke with my Production Manager and Producer, Jennifer Inglis, about my hesitation to continue to work on the show given the new restrictions put into place. We discussed it, and in the end we decided to postpone the show until restrictions eased. We called an emergency board meeting and we all unanimously voted in agreement for the postponement. Afterwards, I felt really sad.
But, over time, I became excited when we all started working on the show again after a brief reprieve. I met periodically (via videoconferencing) with the actors to run lines, and with the technicians to sort out technical cues. Finally, on May 25, 2021, the government announced the BC restart plan and we were able to set new dates. We set our show dates for October 2021 and gave everyone the summer off saying we will be back in the rehearsal hall in September 2021.
With summer nearly over, I have been itching for the theatre season to begin and to get back to work on the play. Then, bam, another setback. On August 20, 2021, Dr. Bonnie Henry announces a province wide mask mandate be brought back and limits capacity for indoor events. Sigh. However, I refuse to believe that we will be going all the way back to where we were in March of 2021. We will continue to work as long as we can and in the meantime I hope that our audiences will make the important decision to get vaccinated so the arts can live and thrive again.
Get a full list of clinic locations, including pop-up clinics, dates and hours here - https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/covid-19-immunization-clinics/.
I’m excited to see all you back in the theatre again! Braidie’s story is a powerful one. I think everyone can relate to how Braidie feels. It can be so easy to get sucked into peer pressure and groupthink. We are seeing this now more than ever as we have been navigating through these stressful times. This pandemic has not brought out the best in ourselves. MacLeod’s beautiful and poetic play will make audiences look inside themselves because we all see a piece of Braidie in ourselves. I hope this inner reflection will encourage people to make a change in their lives and the lives of others by remembering to always be kind to one another, even if our opinions differ.
"You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force." – Publilius Syrus