Students, faculty and alumni are connecting online through a new hashtag coined by musical theatre faculty member Chelsea Reynolds, #quARTantine, to share their efforts to connect and bring art to life remotely. The hashtag features everything from bridging the online gap with music and worship, virtual cabarets and neighborhood concerts, and real-time art demonstrations.
Many using the hashtag are finding unique ways to bring art, theatre, music and dance to those looking for an outlet. Samford alumnus Jonathan Skaggs started a weekly digital cabaret series “Songs from Separation” that has featured current and past students along with faculty and artists from across the country. Skaggs received his BFA in Musical Theatre from Samford last May and wanted to create a platform where he and his friends and colleagues could continue to perform during the COVID-19 crisis. He, like many theatre professionals, found himself without work after the entertainment industry was put on hold. Every Monday at 8:30 p.m. EST, the cabaret features six artists that offer a selection of musical theatre, spoken word poetry, original songs and even dance. Since graduating Jonathan has worked with Red Mountain Theatre Company and AD Players Theatre where he took his EMC card.
Music alumni are also offering inspiration in many ways. Eliza Warden 2011 undergraduate and 2014 masters in church music Samford alumnae has been hosting concerts in her yard while others have been creating new music for their churches and assisting with online services. The Division of Art and Design hosted a virtual showing of the Annual Juried Student Exhibition which included an online awards event April 23.
Our students continue to perform in Webex and Zoom settings and recitals are being presented via Livestream. Our Musical Theatre History I class put together a 1920's Broadway Radio Hour. The Dance Company danced together in this video Dancing Alone Together. Junior theatre major Audrey Meyers has been serving as a student blogger for Broadway World. Dean Joe Hopkins and his wife Suzanne were able to perform virtually for the most recent Legacy League meeting.
COVID-19 may have separated the School of the Art physically but the community of artists continues to be very strong.
Follow #quARTantine on any social media channel for more.