Chair's 2021-22 COVID-19 Statement

richard-dunham
Richard Dunham

To Our Students and Theatre Patrons: 

This season brings a number of changes within the Department of Theatre and Cinema and our production program. Recently the university broke ground on the Center for Adaptive Innovation and Creativity, which will become our new home in several years. The state-of-the-art facility will house the entire College of Visual and Performing Arts as well as several of Radford University’s health sciences programs. In the meantime, Porterfield Hall and neighboring McGuffey Hall are being taken down, and our department has been temporarily relocated to several locations across campus. This results in several significant changes for our patrons and friends:

·      the majority of our productions this academic year will be performed and produced in Bondurant Auditorium in Preston Hall

·      the Theatre Box Office is now located in Walker 240 (tickets can still be purchased online prior to the shows, and 30 minutes prior to showtime in the lobby)

·      the Department of Theatre and Cinema’s Office is now located in Room 245 Walker Hall

Earlier this summer I thought that by the time I would write this message we would be through with COVID-19. However, we are once again in the midst of the global pandemic with surges in cases and some uncertainty about how it might affect our productions. Despite this, much progress has been made since last year, and Radford Univeristy did an amazing job in finding ways to conduct business despite unprecedented challenges. Yes, things appeared quite differently across campus than they did before COVID, but we managed to find creative ways to conduct both our classes and a full season of productions throughout the year. The faculty and I are once again fully committed to producing a full season of challenging plays as well as a musical. This season promises to offer fantastic educational experiences for our students, as well as fun and unique entertainment for the campus and surrounding communities.

This year, with vaccinations and other protective measures which have reduced the impact of COVID, we are planning to return to live productions with in-person audiences in our theatres. As conditions continue to evolve, audiences may be required to follow changing guidelines and procedures as required by state and university rules – such as mask mandates, socially-distanced seating, or others. Our department is also preparing for the possibility that we may have to return to producing shows virtually by streaming them through Zoom or other internet services. Rest assured that we are planning to offer you an outstanding season of theatre for the upcoming academic year. Because of these changing circumstances, please be sure to carefully monitor our box office when making reservations this year. We hope that our productions and box office operations will be back to normal for the majority of the season. However, in cases where we are required to shift to a virtual format (such as our upcoming production of “Georgia Mae James Unplugs America”) our box office will be operating a bit differently. You will still be able to reserve/purchase tickets for the shows online before a production’s first performance. Once tickets are reserved, you will be emailed a link and instructions on how to access your selected virtual performance several days before the actual performance. 

Our program learned a lot over the course of the last year. We’ve purchased new equipment, acquired new software and streaming services, modified many of our operations, and, most importantly, learned a variety of new performance technologies and techniques that we would not have been exposed to prior to the pandemic. Through all of this, we have prioritized the safety of our students, staff and patrons while still finding ways to educate and entertain our students and patrons. We appreciate your continued support and thank you for bearing with us as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters.

Richard Dunham
Chair/Artistic Director