One down, three to go! NAU Theatre finishes its first COVID-safe production

East of the Sun, West of the Moon

NAU Department of Theatre recently completed its first of a four-show 2020-21 season this weekend, and is a month away from the second.

The staging of the production, “East of the Sun, West of the Moon,” included socially-distanced and masked live performers, shadow puppets and live voiceover from offstage performers.

“It felt so good to create and tell stories again,” said department chair and play director Kathleen McGeever. She also was the director for a production of the play, which was cancelled due to the start of the pandemic. “Many of my cast from ‘East of the Sun, West of the Moon’ were supposed to be in the spring cancelled production, and they were so joyous that we were able to reschedule it to tell the story and do it safely. We all learned alongside one another, doing something that we never imagined, on a shoestring budget due to COVID and budget cuts, and we did it safely!”

Students stand at microphones
From left to right, junior Bradley Uphold, sophomores Ian Burnett and Alexander Furash, and senior Alexis Gibbs perform live voiceovers during a production of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon

Up next, a COVID-safe adaptation of the madcap whodunit “Clue”, running Nov. 5-8. This production will be staged as a live radio play, giving the audience the allusion of peering in on a live performance from the days when that medium was king.

“Our aim is to expose the audience to the essence of the radio dramas prevalent before the golden age of television, allowing them to use their imaginations as the characters ‘run’ from one room to the other through Boddy Manor, trying to solve the murders and find the killer,” said professor Nathanael Johnson, who will direct the production.

After “Clue,” the season resumes next semester with a special Zoom-style adaptation of “Fefu and Her Friends” Feb. 22-26, and concludes with “She Kills Monsters” April 8-11.

Tickets to upcoming virtual events can be pushed online through NAU’s Central Ticket Office.