Thespians host Coffeehouse held virtually through Zoom

Brianna Carmack, Print EIC

Thespians Troupe 941 hosted their first Coffeehouse event this year as a Zoom call. Considering that the world is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, this is one of the few activities that Troupe 941 will try to keep consistent this year.

The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the Thespians.

In a normal year, Troupe 941 looks up to their annual fall play, winter musical and spring play to count on fulfilling their year. However, social distancing guidelines and mask mandates make it unlikely that Troupe 941 will participate in any of those events thus far. But, Troupe 941 has other plans in order to make ends meet. 

The Coffeehouse event is similar to a talent show. It occurs multiple times a year — about two months after each other. In order to attend a Coffeehouse event, students are required to pay either $2 or donate a canned food item, which is donated to the Kansas Breadbasket.

“We have people in the Thespian group who do drama, are interested in the plays, or are interested in the Thespian club themselves just come over and they pay $2 or a canned food item,” Thespians vice president Chase Glasscock, junior, said. “Then they can just do whatever they want, or they can just watch. It’s really kind of a community-building effort.” 

Originally, Troupe 941 planned to have the event held in-person, but was then told to schedule it virtually instead due to COVID-19 concerns. With that being said, because it was decided that the event would be held on Zoom last-minute, the number of people that showed up was reduced to around 15 instead of the normal 20-25 students that attend a regular Coffeehouse event. 

Although Troupe 941 ideally wanted it to be held in-person, the Coffeehouse event felt more organized and professional compared to previous times.

“[Coffeehouse] was really interesting,” Glasscock said. “Usually, there’s a lot of discussion in between because we’re in person and we’re very talkative thespians. But because it was over Zoom, it was much more like… organized like a regular talent show, where we had one person directing talents and then getting people organized.”

The talents were focused more specifically on dancing, singing and acting. 

“A lot of the time [talents are] going to be focused around the core things that we focus on as Thespians, so you’re going to have a lot of dancing, singing or different skits or improv,” Glasscock said.

Troupe 941 tends to be an active group when considering that they participate in an array of performances, so having a successful Coffeehouse event with everything going on was exciting for the students.

“Within the club, we try to be as active as possible and get with other Thespians and really just talk about things,” Glasscock said. “Being able to experience something as a whole is really the most rewarding part of it.”

It’s not necessarily guaranteed yet, but Troupe 941 is hoping to schedule another Coffeehouse event in January or February.

“[Coffeehouse] really depends on the COVID-19 restrictions that the school places,” Glasscock said. “We’re going to try to have it in person when we can, but it seems more likely, that’s going to be over Zoom. We’re going to have its regular schedule though, so [the next Coffeehouse will] probably be in January or February.”