The Michigan State University Department of Theatre’s 2020 Summer Circle Theatre (SCT) season has been postponed. The entire season will move to June 2021, but the Department of Theatre will offer some online activities for all to enjoy remotely this summer. This decision comes as a result of the announcement made by MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., to continue virtual-only courses for the summer session in response to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.
Since 1960, the MSU Department of Theatre has heralded the unofficial start of summer with its Summer Circle Theatre program, which presents free, accessible theatre using the talents of MSU students and faculty, professional artists, and community members. Department of Theatre Chairperson Kirk Domer, SCT Artistic Director Rob Roznowski, and the SCT Artistic Associates shared the news on April 3 with the undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty slated to work on the 60th season.
The decision to move the entire season to summer 2021, however, brings with it some positive news. Directors, actors, shop employees, and stage managers, all will be offered the same roles next year if their schedules permit, including all graduating seniors and graduate students. Designers will complete their design process remotely this year and all designs for sets, costumes, props, light, and sound will be built or implemented in 2021. When complete, design renderings will be posted to each show’s webpage.
For stalwart fans of the annual festival, now in its 60th year, there still will be opportunities to enjoy some summer theatre fun, albeit remotely. The cast of “6”will record a reading of the script to be viewed from home. This kid-friendly show is a brand new, original script written by MSU Theatre students Brandon Drap, Taylor McPhail, and Mary Claire Zauel and MSU Head of Acting and Directing Rob Roznowski. In this body-switching comedy, which was written to celebrate Summer Circle Theatre’s 60th birthday, 6-year-old Georgina and her 66-year-old grandfather George become unexpected best friends.
The SCT Kids Camp, a free summer camp for 1st through 6th grade students, also will release camp curriculum and activities developed by Director Ann Folino White for families to experience from home. The summer camp faculty and staff have been encouraged to create a video of a game or activity for families to access from the Summer Circle Theatre website. Audiences are encouraged to follow the Department of Theatre’s Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram feeds to receive alerts of all the SCT videos as they become available. In continuing with the 60-year tradition, all content will be free and open to the public.
See you at the circle!