Arts and Entertainment Editor
Despite the delay in the semester, Keene State College’s Theater and Dance Department’s production of “The Last Five Years” will still continue.
“We will begin the same way, just dates shifted,” said Kirstin Riegler, director of “The Last Five Years”. Typically, the cast of the show moves in early, Riegler says this is still the case, “Music bootcamp with the cast is the weekend before classes start and then we hit the ground running.”
In regards to the delayed start, Riegler said, “Honestly, I am happy that we will be able to proceed with rehearsals in-person because of the delayed start. No days are being taken away as of now, just shifted. I will have a bit more time to finish prepping and will be anxiously awaiting beginning the process with the cast. We have Zoom table work rehearsals over the break, so maybe adding a few more of those might be a good idea.”
With COVID-19 still a prevalent issue, stage director Molly Delaney explained how the production is taking precautions.
“A great part of “The Last Five Years” is that it is a very small and intimate cast with only two characters (Cathy and Jamie). Throughout the musical they are individually singing about their relationship at different points during their five-year-long relationship,” Delaney said.
“They only sing one or two songs together which fits pretty well with social distancing because Jamie and Cathy won’t be together for a majority of the show. There will not be any physical affection between the two during the show;it will be the couple telling the story of their relationship,” Delaney said.
Delaney also explained the entire pre-production process has been entirely online and will continue to follow precautions once the show premieres, “During all shows and rehearsals the actors will be wearing masks,” said Delaney. “We will have two musicians onstage and they will both be distanced and masked during shows. Our set consists of a 15-foot wide turntable with a wall in the middle to define two differing sides that will be a barrier if both actors are on stage at the same time. Crew will be spaced out accordingly during performances and tech.”
Delaney expressed her gratitude, “I am very grateful to be able to be doing a production right now. The department is working very hard to make shows happen in the current times of COVID. I am very excited to be a part of this production and can’t wait to see it grow into a wonderful show.”
The show was cast with two couples: A straight couple and a lesbian couple. Senior Caroline Hentz, who plays Cathy in the heterosexual cast of the show, also expressed her feelings towards the delayed start.
“I honestly don’t think the delayed start will affect the production a whole lot,” said Hentz. “As far as I know, we haven’t lost any time in rehearsals since the semester has only shifted rather than if it were cut short two weeks.”
“Overall, I’m not particularly concerned right now that we will lose rehearsal time, but I am bummed that I have to wait longer to get started,” Hentz said.
As of now, the new show dates have not been announced, but will be posted on the Redfern Arts Center website when a decision has been reached.
Tom Benoit can be contacted at