Theater presents virtual Joe’s Cafe

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Joe’s Cafe, the theater department’s annual variety show, is online this year.

Isabel Young and Callen Nutt

The theater department premiered Joe’s Cafe on Thursday. The show is on the drama department youtube channel and will stay there through Saturday. Joe’s Cafe includes performances from the entire department, and will have celebrity hosts. The production is free to view, but the department is accepting donations to the booster club.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing all the hard work everyone has put into it,” senior Izzy Sommers, who will be featured in the one act play portion of the show said. “I think it’s interesting to see all the unique ideas that come through.”

Each theater class has contributed differently to the show. The production ranges from one act plays to individual talents.

“There’s a lot of creativity coming out of doing it this way, and I think it’s good that we’re able to switch things up,” theater director Celeste Schneider said. “The students are able to showcase talents that they maybe wouldn’t have if we were in person.

One benefit of being online is that the show is no longer limited to just Vandegrift students. This year, the student hosts were replaced by several celebrity cameos, including actors from the Disney Channel and The Office.

“(The celebrities) will keep the show moving and make it really fun,” Sommers said. “I honestly think that we’ve done a great job, and I think the audience will be excited to see famous people during the show.”

Virtual performances are still a new format for theater that come with their own set of challenges. For students used to being in front of a live audience, this is an entirely different way of performing.

“It’s hard not to have an audience to bounce off of, and not being able to feel the audience’s energy,” Sommers said. “But there are definitely benefits still of being online, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.”

Virtual shows are becoming the new normal for performing arts students, and Joe’s Cafe is proving that online doesn’t have to be a limitation. 

“We always say in theater the show must go on and I think this is a really good example of that,” Schneider said. “The show must go on, life must go on, everything must go on.”