Department of Theater Fall 2020 FAQ
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Posted July 14. This page will be updated as needed.
We are open for business! We are excited for fall and crafting a semester that offers rich opportunities for learning and theater-making. In response to the safety needs demanded by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are operating mostly remotely, with select low-density elements of face-to-face instruction in a few classes. Classes will be offered through both synchronous and non-synchronous methods — innovation and adaptation are our watchwords. Most importantly, we hope to use this disruption to our daily lives to disrupt how we think about theater and what place it holds in our society.
Please read below our answers to some frequently-asked questions. Check back often, because we’ll update this page as circumstances change, and please contact us if you have a question that isn’t answered here.
For information about the university's Fall 2020 Reopening Plan, please visit www.umass.edu/coronavirus.
Will Fall 2020 classes be in-person or remote?
- The majority of our classes at both the graduate and undergraduate levels are being conducted remotely. Students with concerns about remote work are encouraged to contact instructors for more information.
- A small number of classes will include an in-person component. Faculty will share details with students who are enrolled in these classes. Students with concerns are encouraged to contact instructors for more information.
- We recognize that both the remote as well as the in-person course options present different challenges for different students. Students are encouraged to contact faculty with concerns. Their needs will be accommodated on a case by case basis. Most classes will have a blend of synchronous and non-synchronous teaching.
How will registration and advising be different from usual this fall?
- For registration and advising questions, students are encouraged to contact their advisor, Administrative Assistant Bethany Sherwood, or Department Chair Harley Erdman.
- We will update the Online Advising page as registration approaches.
Does the department plan to put on any productions?
- Yes! Instead of a traditional mainstage season, the department will present a series of short, nimble events, presentations, and exhibits, offered mostly on Zoom, with a possibility of one outdoor event in the fall. Rehearsals will be mainly remote, or in small, socially-distanced cohorts over short periods.
How can I participate in an event?
- Opportunities to be involved in these productions will be posted online as information becomes available.
Can I attend one of your events?
- Yes! We are excited to share our work with the community! Event information will be posted a few weeks before each event is held.
I miss our community. How can I connect with other department members?
We miss you too, so we’ve got lots of ways to connect!
- Make sure you’re getting our weekly newsletter, The Purple Lobbyist, which has information about classes, workshops, productions, and more. (Email our publicity director if you need to be added to the mailing list.)
- The Community Play Reads series, which was started by students last year, will offer a weekly gathering spot for anyone who’s excited to explore new work. Come participate or come listen! (You can email to get on that list too!)
- Stay tuned for drop-in lunches, community meetings, and other events that will offer an opportunity to see your fellow department members via Zoom.
What will the in-person and on-site safety protocols be for UMass Theater?
- We are still finalizing how access to our building will work. Please check back for information as the semester approaches.
- Please remember that everyone who has business on the UMass campus is required to wear a mask whenever possible, maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently, and avoid crowded spaces.
Are tours available for prospective students and other visitors?
- Not at this time. Please check back for information about when these will resume. In the meantime, faculty and staff are available by email if you have questions about our program.
- For questions about our undergraduate program, please contact Department Chair Harley Erdman.
- For questions about the graduate program, contact Graduate Program Director Chris Baker.