The Summer Showcase has gone virtual. Here’s how to watch, and what to expect.

Screenshot by Northeastern University

2020 has been a year full of surprises, many of them not even remotely good.

The COVID-19 pandemic rages on, with a global death toll surpassing 900,000. Wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes continue to batter regions across the U.S. And students and teachers of all levels have started, or are preparing for, another term of hybrid or fully virtual education.

This year is not what anyone could have imagined. Still, people are adapting to these new and difficult circumstances.

This is the theme of this year’s virtual Summer Showcase, a musical performance that is put on by NUStage, the university’s student-run musical theater club.

Sarah Yoder, a behavioral neuroscience student who directed the showcase, says she wanted the performance to display a positive message.

“In the beginning, we’re starting with dreams for the future—aspirations that are maybe too big to be realistic,” says Yoder, a student of behavioral neuroscience. “In the middle, we relay some of the difficulties that have led to things not turning out the way you thought they would. In the end, I’m just hoping that viewers will take from the show scenes of resilience, adaptability, and flexibility.”

The Summer Showcase is usually performed in front of a live audience on the Boston campus. But after three shows slated for the spring and early summer were cancelled in March, Yoder says, the members of NUStage immediately began brainstorming ways to hold the annual performance. As with most other forms of entertainment, NUStage decided to go virtual. 

Yoder says the eight weeks that she and more than 50 other students have spent working on the production have served as a “great distraction” from the stresses of the outside world. And the challenges that have come with producing a large, virtual show with performers who live all over the U.S. have been a learning experience for her, she says.

The Summer Showcase will feature 15 songs, and will be livestreamed on the club’s Youtube channel on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. EDT. If all goes well, Yoder says, the show will provide a blueprint for two other virtual performances that NUStage has planned for the fall.

“We’re just excited to be able to perform in whatever capacity we can,” Yoder says.

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