Lara Atry

Morganville, NJ

During a rehearsal for my final show at Muhlenberg College, The Bacchae, we got a notice from our school’s president that the college was closing down for a month, thus canceling our show. We had worked for months on the process and for many of us, it was our last show of college.

However, the theatre community at Muhlenberg did not let that stop us. The creative team and department accepted the chaos that was, a theme so aligned with the show, and set out to make something happen. We had minimal costumes, lighting, sound, but it all came together so beautifully. The Theatre department worked with the school to open the entire house and offer over 300 tickets for audience members to come. There were over 400 people in the audience and as soon as the lights went down, they erupted in cheers. The energy was that of a rock concert, and everyone was there for one last celebration of art. We came together as a community to combat the fear of what could eventually happen.

It took 48 hours to bring the entire piece together. The process during those two days reminded me that art does not have to be extravagant or expensive. It is the community that makes it so important, the collective storytelling. I was so blown away by the sense of community and love for people and art during those two hours. It reassured me that in times of crisis and chaos, people always turn to art.