By: Lillian McBee, Contributing Writer
Photo by Macy Dowla/The Towerlight
Towson University’s (TU) College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) are back on stage and prepping new productions after conducting business virtually for over a year..
According to Michele Alexander, manager of Marketing and Public Relations for COFAC, everyone is working extremely hard to make the transition as smooth as possible. They are following the policies of the University and are currently allowing full capacity within their audience spaces.
“We have definitely suffered significant audience loss,” Alexander said. “But that’s not unusual to any of the arts right now.”
Alexander believes the arts are not struggling but surviving through the pandemic.
“It is all about perspective,” Alexander said. “For us in the educational world, in many ways the artists were thriving.”
Alexander believes the pandemic increased motivation for artists, pushing them to be creative and practice their craft.
“We had the choruses practicing in the parking garage,” Alexander said. “We had to modify to be able to accomplish what we needed to.”
Nerissa Paglinauan, Program Manager for the Asian Arts & Culture Center and curator for the Asia in Maryland exhibit, said that besides the addition of masks her return has felt like pre-COVID-19 times.
“Everybody knows what they need to do to stay safe,” Paglinauan said. “There doesn’t seem to be any limits with the number of people who can be in the gallery.”
According to Paglinauan, the Center is working to find solutions that promote the safety of everyone involved. One solution has been to-go bags, an alternative to catering at gallery events.
She explained that the “immersive and powerful” experience offered to viewers stems from the multidimensions and textures of the artwork surrounding them.
“Seeing the physical works in person is a completely different experience,” Paglinauan said.
Hayden Klinedinst, a TU student in theatre, explained that theatre rehearsals are held inside and in compliance with TU’s mask mandate.
“I am so grateful for being able to get back to in-person gatherings,” Klinedinst said. “It is inexplicable how wonderful it is to hear the applause, cheers, and to see all of the audience members again.”
For some, the transition back to in-person events has raised some concerns. Klinedinst expressed feeling anxious returning after being remote for so long.
“I take a moment to breathe,” Klinedinst said. “By taking the time to relax and prepare, I am not as overwhelmed when performing.”
To view all of TU’s upcoming theatre events or buy tickets, visit the box office online.