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9 April 2020

Naugatuck Valley Community College Students and Faculty Bond through Theater Production to Keep Hope Alive and Set an Example

Naugatuck Valley Community College Students and Faculty Bond through Theater Production to Keep Hope Alive and Set an Example

During this unusual time of global uncertainty and disruption, Naugatuck Valley Community College students and faculty have adapted to flourish through online media and virtual interactions. This week, the NVCC theater department gave us all a beautiful example of their extraordinary sense of connection. Professors Sasha Bratt and Gil Harel, Director and Musical Director of Carrie, the NVCC Theater Department's musical, originally scheduled for an April production, hosted a Zoom meeting with the student cast.  Over the course of two hours, 12 students joined in for brief check-ins, and conversations about the musical. Both professors emphasized that the show is not just notes on the page, not just the production rights, but, rather, the show is the students. Rather than thinking of the show being cancelled, they talked about it being postponed, they brainstormed alternative ways to bring it to life. They talked; they sang; the overall, presiding emotions were hope and trust as they found new ways to connect and move forward.  

Professor Sasha Bratt noted, “As we were rehearsing CARRIE in the beginning of the semester, this cast and crew, like so many do, started to become a family. Theater is about the journey, not the destination. Our journey is not the one we expected to take, but seeing these young artists come together, sing together, create together, confirms for me the community that they have created. Whatever the outcome, and however long it takes, and even if it changes form, this cast will finish this together. Last night wasn’t the first step in that process; it was the next step. It might have been the hardest one to take, but it was much easier to take together. It was beautiful!  Theater and music continue to thrive - overflowing with hope, excitement, and positive vibes!”

Musical Director, Gil Harel commented, “It's difficult to convey the warmth and euphoria that came through the speakers and screens of our Zoom cast meeting. We reflected on the many, many high points of the spring 2020 semester, and set our sights on the exciting prospects for the future. I was impressed - as I always am - by the candor and authenticity of the cast members. Their collective expressivity knows no bounds. We talked, we sang, and basked in the glow one another's virtual company. It was, without question, a true panacea for the spirit.”

Dean of Academic Affairs, Lisa Dresdner, Ph.D. commented on the community they built and highlighted the example they bring to the College. “The creative and boundless energy of our theater and music professors, Sasha Bratt and Dr. Gil Harel,​ as well as of the students keeps the arts alive at NVCC as they continue rehearsals for the musical, Carrie, and demonstrate that, indeed, “the show must go on!"

B.L. Baker, Associate Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, gleefully noted that this is the stuff that keeps us going during times like these- “awesome-sauce” he calls it.

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