UT Austin Webinar Replay: Theatre 2020 Project: Documenting a Year of Changes

April 8, 2021

Since COVID-19 was named a global pandemic in March 2020, theater professionals around the world have struggled to respond. Some theaters have closed permanently. Artists are adapting to new ways of telling stories. Many theaters are reckoning with longstanding systemic racism, onstage and off. During this period of upheaval and transformation, The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, a major research center for the study of the history of theatre and performance, has been working with theater artists and companies to document their experiences for posterity.

On Tuesday, April 6, 2021 Performing Arts Curator Eric Colleary led this webinar exploring how the Center’s Theatre 2020 Project will help future artists and scholars understand this unprecedented period of change. Here is a video replay of this webinar in case you missed it or want to re-watch it:

Read more about the Theatre 2020 Collection here from Stage Directions.

Preserving Theatre History in the Digital Age

Previous pandemics like the bubonic plague or the 1918 flu have been documented in personal and organizational archives, published newspapers and periodicals, handwritten journals, and lengthy correspondence. Similarly, past movements around civil rights and labor organizing have produced fliers, meeting minutes, written speeches, recorded programs, and more. In the digital age, there is a danger that material about this moment will not be collected by archives in the same way as before. The Ransom Center has been proactive in trying to document how the events of 2020 impacted the professional theater community.