The American Theatre Wing (ATW) is featuring Carnegie Mellon University in an episode of " Working in the Theatre ," the Wing’s Emmy-nominated documentary series. CMU is one of three schools to be featured in the series (the others are The State University of New York and American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco). CMU worked with the ATW to create a focus for the episode, titled, "A Community Comes Together: Carnegie Mellon University."
The documentary focuses on challenges presented to students, faculty and staff during the COVID pandemic, as well as how CMU pivoted to successfully move forward.
"This video, focusing on the remarkable artists in our School of Drama , is yet another example of why I am so very proud of all of the incredible artists, designers, architects and scholars across Carnegie Mellon’s College of Fine Arts," said College of Fine Arts Dean Dan Martin. "I could not be more grateful for our faculty and staff, who rose to the challenge of serving our students during this pandemic with creativity and vigor."
From left, CMU drama students Rayven Bailey, Tara Clinkscales and Khailah Johnson perform "Salty Teardrops" from the musical "Caroline, or Change" during "Bring Me to Light," the 2020 virtual cabaret.
Our students can now light theatrical projects (that are on campus) from the comfort of their own homes💡. #TartanProud pic.twitter.com/Gwqx9rp1K4- Carnegie Mellon (@CarnegieMellon) November 18, 2020
Selecting CMU for the documentary was a natural fit, according to ATW documentary producers Ian Weiss, Jenny Gorelick and Kayla Williamson, because of its reputation, its culture of innovation, and its impact on the theatrical industries.
"We are so proud of our "Working in the Theatre" documentary series, which gives the world a free backstage pass to the inner-workings of theater. During COVID-19, it has been our goal to document the impacts of the pandemic on the theater community in real time and show how we, as a community, have carried on," said Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing and executive producer of the documentary series.
"Theater education has been particularly challenged during this time, but we were hearing and seeing incredible stories of resilience and ingenuity," Hitchens said. "We wanted to highlight the perseverance of the students and teachers to create an honest depiction of the struggles and successes of learning under such difficult circumstances. To do so, we created three episodes that feature three incredible theater programs across the country, discussing the delicate process of re-opening and the importance of theaterd education during a pandemic."