by Colin Bridgman, staff writer

Post-pandemic, PPCC is returning to more traditional live theatre, beginning this semester with performances of The Seagull at the Downtown Studio Campus, running April 14–17 and 21–24.

The Theatre department is full of people looking forward to getting back to live performances—sans masks. Chief among them is Sarah Sheppard Shaver, Chair of the Theatre Department. “There is a yearning for a collective experience,” that she says theatre provides.

For Shaver, theatre creates an intimate connection between the performers, the crew, and the audience during a stage piece. She says the ephemeral nature of a performance pushes her to bring live theatre to our community. A staged play is finite. So, to Shaver, the art of theatre lives in shared moments between the audience and the performers.

And this connection only grows for the students in the program.

Kirstyn Gatch, student and performer in the upcoming staging of The Seagull, said, “Theatre has been the first place I ever felt like I belonged. After a lifetime of feeling like I will never fit in, I have finally found a family with the theatre community.”

Hollyann McCann, former student and director of PPCC’s “Aria Da Capo” in 2020, said of her connections: “The people that are closest to me are theatre people because we were solving problems together every day and joking around in the break times.”

“You really get to know someone when you build a show together, with all the creative bursts and all the stresses,” McCann said.

As a director, McCann celebrates the variety of perspectives that theatre can bring. “I love the idea that you can make people think in a new way or consider a different perspective,” she said,

“I am also delighted to have been able to put on shows myself as mandates change. I’ve been blessed to meet new people and have the thrill of putting my art out there for people to experience in real time.”

For Gatch, an important aspect of theatre is how well the medium can communicate. This communication of different ideas and perspectives has taught her a variety of subjects: “I’ve learned more history, science, and technology through theatre than I have in general studies,” she said.

If you are interested in watching and supporting live theatre in Colorado Springs, the PPCC production of The Seagull is slated for April 14–17, and 21–24.