This year has truly been an unprecedented one. This is the case for not only the school but also the arts departments at Keene State College. However, despite the cancellation of in-person classes and events at Keene, the year itself was quite eventful.

The theatre and dance department hosted many shows, including “Church and State,” the Shakespearian classic “As You Like It” and the musical “A Year with Frog and Toad” as well as dance performances such as “Choreography Showcase” that was held in the fall semester.

Kirsten Riegler, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, reflected on the year. “This year was truly an evolution of the extremities that theatre can take under something that is out of our control.”

Riegler also said, “Our live productions brought joy and optimism to audiences young and old and despite having to abruptly shift to an online format, the presentation of the hard work of our dancers via ‘The Dance Lives in the Body’ video showcased how our faculty and students used the change to their advantage and ultimately grew as artists and collaborators in ways that were completely unknown.”

The music department also saw a lot of events this school year. Music Department Chair Sandra Howard said, “The KSC Music Department hosted 27 performances on campus in the Alumni Recital Hall or Main Theatre including student recitals, guest solo performers, music faculty recitals and ensemble performances. We are proud of our world-class music faculty performers, our prestigious guest performers and student performers.” 

The arts department has proved that it can be resilient in the face of a pandemic. This year saw an entire department having to adapt and overcome the changes that happened in the spring semester. This was done through streaming certain programs, such as dance performances and concerts.

To check out more from the theatre and dance department, go to the Keene State College theatre and dance department social media. For more on the music department, check out their facebook page,


Tom Benoit can be reached at

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