The Show That Never Was


The first virtual funhouse Friday [@vpaatlemoyne on Instagram]

Molly Murphy, News and Features Editor

The stage was set. After weeks of rehearsal, the cast and crew of Madwoman! finally felt like their hard work was paying off. Talented actors and dedicated crew members went home for a well deserved break, not realizing that the show they had worked so hard on would never be seen.

For seniors in the cast in particular, losing Madwoman! due to COVID-19 meant more than losing a performance. It meant losing their last moments on stage at Le Moyne.

Samantha Overton, a Theatre major and cast member, reflects on Madwoman!’s cancellation. “When you really love a show, you want to keep doing it forever. You wanna explore new ways to make your character human or find new ways to work and react in scenes. When a show closes it’s already such a sad feeling. Now that Madwoman! is cancelled, it’s even more painful, because the world didn’t get to see what we brought to the table, what we worked for months on, what we created.”

“It’s also especially sad because this was my last show at Le Moyne. I’ve been acting on shows since I was a freshman in my fall semester,” Sam continues. “We had easter eggs throughout Madwoman! that hinted at past shows I’ve been in. Madwoman! was really a huge celebration of the PAC, so not only do I feel like there’s no closure to Madwoman! but there’s also no closure to my four years of theatre at Le Moyne.”

Milánne Wischmeyer, a Theatre and English major and a cast member, feels similarly. “Madwoman! was going to be my last show acting at Le Moyne. I have done over fifteen productions at my time at Le Moyne and I am incredibly thankful for all of them, so it’s been a huge let down that I will not be able to complete my senior theatre season as I planned.”

The stage manager, Grace Mahieu, a Theatre and Psychology major, is also disappointed that her last show was taken from her. “I was beyond excited for all the work the actors had put into it and how amazing it was becoming. Madwoman! gave me the opportunity to work with both faculty and students as actors which was a really exciting experience.” 

“I didn’t know the most recent show I did was going to be my last show and that was really hard to deal with for me, personally,” Grace continues. “I would have savored it a bit more if I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do a show in the spring semester.”

Despite the loss of their final bows, these three seniors are still grateful for all they learned at Le Moyne, on stage and off.

“Theatre at Le Moyne has been really extraordinary,” Sam says. “Their message of educating the whole artist is really brilliant because you understand all the work that goes into the different aspects of theatre because you’ve worked through it all. The faculty is encouraging, and even when problems occur, they’re all lessons for the real world. I’ve found my true love of theatre at Le Moyne, and the family that I’ve found along with it is truly irreplaceable.”

“The PAC has given me so much, my friends, my family, my home. It has helped me become who I am today,” says Milánne. “This program has taught me so much. It gave me so much confidence, helped me grow my passions, and truly showed me how much theatre has impacted my life. It has set me up to be able to do theatre for the rest of my life. I owe the PAC so much, I could not be more thankful for everything it has given me.”

“Le Moyne has shaped me into a full theatre artist and has allowed me to explore what inspires me,” Grace says. “I have made life long friends, I have created beautiful pieces of theatre, I have found my voice from it. It is through theatre at Le Moyne that I found my love for stage management as well as taking on various leadership roles in the PAC, which gave me so much joy.”

Given that Le Moyne’s theatre program means so much to its students, the PAC has found a way to keep their community close despite the distance. As Executive Directors of Le Moyne’s two theatre groups, Sam and Grace have worked closely with other students like Milánne to keep the PAC’s traditions alive.

“During the semester, we hold weekly meetings called Funhouse Friday where we update students on things happening in the PAC,” Sam explains. “We’ve since moved those online and while there are no longer events happening in the PAC, it’s a chance for everyone to come together and spend time with each other and the faculty.” 

“We have been inviting back alumni who are working in the theatre world to answer questions students have about working outside of Le Moyne,” she continues. “We’ve also been looking into radio plays, which are meant to be listened to and not performed on a stage, so that we can keep students engaged in doing and watching theatre.”

“I can’t begin to explain to you how amazing this year’s team of student leaders has been,” Grace continues. “They all work so hard and put so much effort into their jobs. They go above and beyond to make sure everyone at the PAC knows what’s going on. We have been working so hard at the PAC to keep our family bond strong during these hard times, and I am so proud of all the support we have received from our building staff and the student community.”