ABAC’s Baldwin Players Tackle COVID-19 Setbacks

Staff Report

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

The show must go on for the Baldwin Players at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  Like many performing arts organizations, the Players have experienced challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to social distancing guidelines large audiences are not allowed on the ABAC campus for live theatre.  The Players have found an alternative.

“As the Director of the Baldwin Players, I looked around for something that ‘fit’ our current situation, and I realized that today, like in the war years of the 1940s, Americans are looking for entertainment that comes to them, instead of venturing out into the pandemic,” said Dr. Brian Ray, a Professor of English and Theatre at ABAC and the Director of the Baldwin Players.

Ray said a six-person cast has been selected which will perform a “Tribute to the 1940s Radio Drama” that will be recorded and made into a video production.

Cast members include Jessica Wade, ABAC biology lab coordinator; Craig Wells, former ABAC student; Alena Norton, ABAC graduate; Roderick Baisden, ABAC general studies major with pathway in theatre; Dr. Doug Waid, retired ABAC professor; and Dr. Elizabeth Medley, current ABAC assistant professor.

This cast will bring 1940s radio stories to life, tailored to a 2020 audience. Stories that are highlighted in the production are “The Maltese Falcon” and “Sorry, Wrong Number.” Many cast members play more than one role in the production as well.

“This option still allows the Baldwin Players the opportunity to prepare a live production even though it will have to be shared with our audience via video,” said Ray. “Most of the goals that the Baldwin Players have for live theatre production will still be possible in this format, though it lacks the direct communication between performers and audience of a live performance.”

The exact date of release of the production is still to be determined but hopefully the video will be available on ABAC’s YouTube channel and other social media platforms by the end of October.

For more information on the production, interested persons can contact Ray at bray@abac.edu.