The Last Five Years

With the coronavirus pandemic halting most traditional means of performing, Penn State Centre Stage Virtual was created to support students during the period of heightened restrictions.

This April, it will present four productions to the public for free. Audiences can look forward to a one-act play, musical, radio drama and a dance concert virtually this spring.

Most events can be viewed here.

First, “Sea Wall” by Simon Stephens will air at 7:30 p.m. April 9-12. It is a one-man show that tells the story of a photographer reflecting on the pictures he has taken throughout his life — as well as the memories he’s made.

Kyle Blumenthal plays the lead and conveys a story about both love and loss in front of the camera, according to Sierra Lucas, the show’s stage manager.

“He [is] absolutely amazing, Lucas (junior-stage management) said. “He [is] a great actor to work with — [he is] very flexible.”

Next, PSCS Virtual will release its first-ever radio play: an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet directed by Steve Snyder. The five-act play will stream serially beginning at 7:30 p.m. April 20, according to PSCS Virtual’s press release.

Following the Shakespeare classic, “The Last Five Years,” by Jason Robert Brown will air at 7:30 p.m. April 22–25. Viewers can watch the show here.

The musical tells the story of the five year relationship between a couple from their first date to their breakup, according to Jessia Levine, the show’s stage manager.

“It's really different than the shows I've worked on here before. Obviously, everyone is wearing masks the whole time,” Levine (senior-stage management) said. “The two actors can't touch each other, so they have to get married without really getting to touch each other, which was an interesting thing to stage. But, I think it turned out pretty well.”

Finally, the season will end with a spring dance concert, Moving Forward. The show will air at 7:30 p.m. on April 30, according to PSCS Virtual’s press release.

Moreover, the School of Theatre said those interested can donate to the School of Theatre Fund, which offers financial assistance to School of Theatre students who are adversely impacted by the pandemic.


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