Pandemic massacre to the entertainment industry, even at Bellarmine

Riley Baerg

It is no debate that the ongoing global pandemic has ravaged the United States economy. One of the most prevalent  industries in our modern lives is entertainment; coming in many forms it can mean anything from moves to sports and theater. With the desertion of school in 2020, it is needless to say that countless extracurriculars took a hit to attendance and participation. Some clubs and sports remaining inactive through the long, nearly 11- month  hiatus.

Many different departments would receive a crucial blow as in person participation is the only way to achieve the club’s goals. Drama at Bellarmine Prep is just one of many. Participants see theater as a chance to hone their skill that don’t exactly have to do with academics, something this institution pushes heavily.

Over the years it has proven to be one of the school’s biggest creative lifelines; people of all different sorts have some place here. Stupendous is the fact that this group of students (and faculty/staff) has not given up in the slightest among the ongoing pandemic.

Senior Regan Marsh describes the adversity facing this group. “The theater department has changed by having to be flexible with rehearsal space and understanding that you may not have everyone you need.” Just like the many sports most tend to focus on, participants in theater must push on to collect all of the missing pieces they need to end up satisfied with the product of their labor. To say it is easy is nothing short of a travesty. With rehearsals being half of the battle, as for shows, we are doing a musical and possibly DramaFest, both of which will most likely be in a filmed format.”

Marsh goes on, “What’s challenging about the pandemic is truly challenges dealing with communication.” With hours upon hours of hard work put in by each student, the ongoing worry is that not everyone is on the same page.

Local entertainment is not the only thing jeopardized by the pandemic, movie theaters, sports arenas, and theater halls are for the most part closed. Though some exception are made on account of social distancing, all of this in an attempt to save the old means of entertainment. The upcoming Super Bowl LV is to host a whopping 22,000 fans and even local movie theaters are letting people rent out spaces for socially distanced events. Sadly, there is a rising trend in other means of entertainment that threaten the future of places such as these movie theaters. The growth of media outlets and streaming services is detrimental to the state of in-person locations, after all why go pay for overpriced snacks and tickets when you can rent a theater only film for around $20?

Local movie viewer and Bellarmine senior CJ Piccio sees the best of both sides, “I would pay for the movies if I’m with the boys, but other than that staying home and watching Hulu is my go to.” Proving to be a fun opportunity, the interest of getting back to normal is a huge plus for everyone. The slow return of little things like entertainment can form a better morale for all.

With second semester approaching, the year long wait to return at some capacity is just beyond the horizon. Over the course of the past year many have been forced to revert from interpersonal connection and entertainment to an isolated lifestyle; the use of podcasts, streaming services, social media outlets such as Tik Tok all at an all time high.

Theater participant Tallin Rivers described his experience over this time frame, saying, “It was an interesting challenge in the fall to say the least, putting together a performance more or less entirely online. While I doubt we’ll be back in full capacity for a time, we at least have the chance to work together on-campus again, and form the bond which makes theater special to me in the first place.”

The places, events, and pass times we all miss are what will refresh every last one of us on our return to a traditional lifestyle. Rivers is determined make it known that, “The hurdles we have been jumping over this year are in no way diminishing our spirit. It is inviting us to grow and thrive in ways we did not think possible. So I am very much looking forward to all of it; both the old traditions, and the new challenges for us to build from.”

This time should not be one that breaks us but instead calls us to evolve, to become more flexible and open to all walks of life from the stage to the field.