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Restarting and Reuniting – In Person Performing Arts

Dear Members of the Student Performing Arts Community,

I hope you are having wonderful summers.  At Platt House and in the PAC Shop, we are so happy that we will be open and in person this academic year.  As the University has stated, Penn will be open at full capacity for the academic year.  In fact, Platt House already has available hours for full rehearsal room usage.  You may be pinching yourself and asking if this is real.  We get it.  There is a certain anxious feeling about just jumping back in after so much time with restrictions.  We too are wrestling with that feeling.

Yet, the excitement is also real.  Here is the chance to plan in a smart and strategic way.  An analogy might be that that you have been in a desert without water for a long time and when you finally get to that water, you drink so much of it in one sitting that you become ill.  Ideally, you would have built up to a normal amount of water in your system so your body could process it.  The elated feeling of ending your thirst will turn to an unhealthy feeling, and you will wish you hadn’t over indulged.  We are asking you to use this logic when planning your performing arts experiences as well.  Groups are no longer used to 20 hours of rehearsal per week or having multiple shows complete with all the production required for an in-person experience.  Savor the experience of being able to do what you love without overdoing it.  Prioritize your rehearsal and performance needs without losing the chance to bond and engage with each other.  Soak in the moment without losing yourself and all your free time.  Step back in one foot at a time, and be mindful of all that you are doing.

In addition, there are takeaways from this pandemic that we can still apply.  Many groups made your shows accessible to everyone.  Why stop now?  You found ways to meet over Zoom.  Could Zoom meetings help you this year too when you all can’t be in the same room?  Many of you dove into social justice issues.  Don’t stop now.  Overall, some people felt more in tune with their mental health needs and the needs of others.  Let’s keep that going.  And let’s normalize mask wearing for those who wish to keep using masks to protect themselves.  Mask acceptance is important.

Lastly, remember that we are here to help.  PAC-Exec is here to help.  And you should have all identified someone in your group or a recently graduated individual who can help you remember how to do in-person shows.  We are planning helpful training sessions as well as an engaging PAC CONference.  You can also ask us anything at any time.  Or just let us know what you are doing by reaching out or in a meeting with your group advisor.  We love to hear from you, and we cannot wait to see you.

Stay tuned for informative emails as we continue our summers.  Stay safe and keep in touch.

With warm greetings from all of us at Platt House and the PAC Shop,

Best,
Laurie

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