The Show Must Go On (From a Distance)

Much like the theater, film, and music industries, the coronavirus pandemic has forced Babson’s student arts performances to go dark.

The Empty Space Theater. Babson Players. Students Against Gravity. Babson Dance Ensemble. Arts is prolific at Babson. And, it was all cut short.

“I am heartbroken for the numerous actors, designers, technicians, musicians, dancers, and directors who were creating great and compelling art only to have to stop in the middle of the process,” said Assistant Professor Beth Wynstra. “This group of artists includes many students at Babson who themselves were preparing and rehearsing for their big spring productions before everything came to a halt.”

As we’ve seen with students, alumni, and faculty across the board, crisis breeds innovation. The arts are no exception.

Wynstra brought Babson actors, singers, and dancers together remotely for a stay-at-home musical. To say everyone was eager to participate would be an understatement.

“Every single person I contacted to be involved in the project gave me an enthusiastic “YES!” response,” said Wynstra.

“My worlds were colliding and I was happy to bring BabsonArts to my home in Houston,” said Joni Grommesh ’20, who would have performed in the Babson Players’ production of “Catch Me If You Can” this spring. “There is nothing quite like the arts at Babson. Everyone is there to support you and wants you to do your best.”

Wynstra chose “What I Did for Love” from “A Chorus Line,” largely due to the parallels between the characters in the production and Babson’s student performers. “The song explores the sacrifices we make for the things and people we love while also looking ahead to brighter days.”

The performance also marks one of the first times these student groups have collaborated. “(We) have never done a performance all together,” said Beatrice Keyzer-Pollard ’20. “The fact that we all managed to come together as a community to bring art back to Babson is a huge achievement in itself.”

The entire project was reminiscent of the strong arts community on campus. Even members of Babson and Olin faculty (Lecturer Michele Kerrigan and Professor Jon Adler, respectively) joined in.

“Babson’s Arts community is one of the most supportive groups on campus,” said Keyzer-Pollard.

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