Theater department talks return


Rosa Poetschke

Theatre Call Board backstage at Black Box at Brookhaven campus located in B Building.

Rosa Poetschke, Managing Editor

Theatre Brookhaven made its post-pandemic, in-person debut Oct. 15 with the show “We Are Pussy Riot.” For nearly two years, the Brookhaven theater department was unable to gather in person, much less put on a play for a live audience. 

After the release of the COVID-19 vaccine and changes to the Dallas College pandemic protocols, the Brookhaven theater department was able to take the stage once again.

Darise Error, Brookhaven theater department chair and director, said in the Spring 2021 semester as the pandemic kept theaters shut down, the theater department produced a play over Zoom as it was the only option available. Error said the opportunity to get back on stage to perform was amazing. 

“Being in a virtual environment is good for some things but not for theatre, which is by its very definition, an ‘in the same room at the same time’ experience for both actors and audience,” Error said. She said there is something wonderful about being able to be in the same space with the cast and audience. 

Many of the Brookhaven theater program’s more experienced performers moved on during the pandemic. But a new crop of players emerged. Citlali Arredondo, a Brookhaven student, was new to the Brookhaven stage this Fall. 

Arredondo said having consistent human contact again was one of the positive effects of participating in the play. “I think many of us forgot how to socialize during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and were in serious need of human contact,” Arredondo said. “The cast had a great time creating something together and it has definitely gotten us all used to being social again.”

Learning how to socialize again was one thing, but there was no getting past COVID-19 protocols. Arredondo said that during rehearsals and parts of the show, the cast wore masks, but it made projection and facial expressions difficult. 

Overall, Arredondo said she enjoyed participating in Brookhaven’s latest production and is excited to audition for the Spring 2022 production. 

Despite the precautionary measures, Dayna Fries, a cast member, said each performance in front of a live audience was a way of reclaiming the isolation and damage that resulted from the pandemic. 

Fries said she is excited and ready for the Spring production. “I know with the reorganization of Dallas College, several campuses had to shut down their theater programs,” Fries said. “I am so grateful Brookhaven was able to keep ours and I hope enrollment in the Spring brings even more students that are ready to get on stage.”

At the moment, Error said her plans for the Spring theater program include Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” She said this play was in the works before the pandemic shut down Dallas College in Spring 2019. 

Error said she chose “Much Ado About Nothing” because it is a play she has loved for a long time. “[It] is penetrable for both actors and an audience not very familiar with Shakespeare,” she said. 

Auditions will begin the week before Spring Break. Error said auditions are open to everyone – students, staff, non-theater majors and community members.