by Michael Alan Herman and Joseph Zettelmaier
Directed by Paul Beer
Herman and Zettelmaier’s new play, Alone/Together, features six stories of coping with isolation and features characters including a Victorian ghost, an astronaut and others. The play is performed by Schoolcraft students and was filmed in the James R. Hartman Theatre on Schoolcraft’s Livonia campus.
The play will be available for viewing on YouTube beginning at noon on Monday, March 8, 2021, and will be open for viewing for a week.
Click here to view the YouTube broadcast!
“Life in the Time of Corona”
by Paul Beer
On March 14, 2020 – nearly a year ago – we completed our tech rehearsal for the Winter 2020 production of It Came From Mars, written and directed by our own Joseph Zettelmaier, and acted by a talented cast of students and community members. Before the weekend was over, it was clear that our production (along with everyone’s productions across the country) would be cancelled. Theatres went dark. Restaurants closed. Students moved to remote learning. Professionals turned their living spaces into working spaces.
In the meantime, we watched as a global pandemic unfolded. We cheered front line health care workers and mourned the loss of family, friends and associates. We learned to wear masks, socially distance, and to do nearly everything via Zoom. Many cancelled travel plans, adjusted family gatherings, organized into “pods” to stay safe from the virus and to avoid spreading it unwittingly.
In all of that, we felt what it was like to be disrupted and, often, alone. While introverts may have rejoiced (I know I did for a while, at least!), we all began to feel the strain. Parents wondered if and when their children would go back to school, be able to play sports, or at least be with friends. Students wondered if their education had changed forever. Even holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving were different under the specter of the virus.
In the face of all of that, we at Schoolcraft Theatre looked for a way to adapt – to offer our students a performance opportunity, and to offer our audience encouragement and entertainment. We were encouraged by large institutions like the Stratford Festival and London’s National Theatre who released filmed versions of their performances. While we knew we did not have their resources, we undertook this experiment: to take a play written for us, and to record and present it to you, offering what theatre always offers, namely a chance to examine who we are and where we are.
Michael Alan Herman and Joseph Zettelmaier are Michigan-based playwrights with international credits and reputations. We were fortunate to have them write these wonderful stories for us to perform. They have captured in six unique stories experiences common to all of us, and that is the magic of literature.
Both Shakespeare’s prologue to Romeo and Juliet, and his Puck at the end of Midsummer Night’s Dream promise amends for any offense that occurs on the stage in exchange for your (the audience’s) patience in the face of our (the company’s) toil. We invite you to join our toil to be, at least for an hour, Alone/Together.