Mastering Theater In The Midst Of COVID-19

May 12, 2020

Performance theaters across the country have closed their doors due to COVID-19. This has caused cancellations of community shows and other services. But one northern Illinois theater is continuing to engage with its community, despite closures.  

Paramount in Aurora.
Credit Guy Stephens

The Paramount School of the Arts in Aurora offered master classes before the COVID-19 pandemic. These classes were offered in conjunction with every Broadway show and taught by artists who were a part of that show. The classes are now virtual.

Shannon Cameron is the director of education and community engagement. She said the transition to e-learning is a mixed bag. Some things are not so good.  

"Kids aren’t able to get the same feedback they would if they were live in the classroom with these teachers,” she said.

She said on the flip side, they are able to reach more individuals by doing this virtually.

“We have people from all over the area plus other cities joining us on these live free master classes that we’re offering now,” she said

Cameron said another great thing is that people can watch the training at their convenience.

Cameron also explained that Paramount wants to make sure the community is satisfied with this online version.

“We just want to stay engaged with our community. We miss our students, we miss our faculty, and this is a way for us to keep in touch,” she said.

The classes take place every Monday at 5:00 p.m. on Facebook Live. Cameron said they will continue until things return to normal.