Hylton Performing Arts Center and local theater highlight universal frustrations felt throughout the pandemic
BY HAILEY BULLIS SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The Hylton Performing Arts Center partnered with Prince William Little Theatre to create a virtual collection of performances about “Relationships in COVID Times.”
The online performance took place on Feb. 18 and was streamed on Facebook and Youtube. The collection of works was bonded together by a character named Amanda Lyons — a clinical psychologist — played by Tamara Peters. Between clips, Peters’ character described what the performances were about, often pairing her quips with a piece of fruit to make her point.
Perhaps one of the most memorable performances came from newcomer Madelyn Regan, who performed a cover of the song “Stupid With Love” from the Broadway show “Mean Girls,” about a day in the life of a middle schooler during COVID — complete with logging into a Zoom classroom.
Kim Miller performed a more relatable story for older audiences. Miller’s song “Vanilla Ice Cream” centers around the frustrations of dating during the pandemic. In the song, Miller attempts to type out an apology to her date about the previous night.
While the talent of the performers was undeniable, the hardships associated with telling a narrative during a pandemic were apparent. With all of the performers socially distancing, none of the characters were able to play off each other, leaving them to support their performances on their own through mostly self-contained stories.
Performer Stacy Crickmer found a workaround to this problem by using a puppet (named Ms. Adrienne Monkey) to play off of for the first time in her career of more than 20 years. Dressed in a black silk robe and cat ears, Crickmer joked that while learning to navigate the pandemic she’s had to “make her own friends at home.”
The skit played off of many problems faced by people in the past year: isolation, online shopping, video calls and online classes.
During the online premiere, the performers and creators of the show also tuned in and interacted with viewers in the comments, often complimenting their fellow performers and thanking viewers for watching.