• Chelsey Maus

BONES - A Facebook Live Theatrical Production

If you've binged everything on Netflix and are wondering what to watch next then I have got the answer for you! Fuzzy Bottoms Theater Company has a preview of Bones streaming on Facebook. You can see me performing straight from my bedroom! I have had the pleasure of working with this company since February, before the world came to a halt due to Covid_19.

This production was supposed to open on May 22nd, but when quarantine hit our director, April Littlejohn, put together a Facebook Live preview of the play to be aired on our original opening night. This pandemic has upended all of our lives. Having to rehearse and perform a play virtually is one of the many examples of how topsy-turvy the world has become! It is definitely not how I envisioned this year going for myself.

I, like many others, had big plans for 2020. I even went so far as to proclaim 2020 as "my year". 2019 was a very difficult year for me. I had to end an engagement that was tearing me and my life apart. My world was shattered. I knew it was the right choice, but that did not make it any easier. 2020 became "my year" because it was time for me to pick up the pieces of my life and renew my acting pursuit which, if I am honest with myself, I had been hiding from for quite some time.

I started 2020 off with acting classes and auditions but what I wanted most was to get onstage again. Theatre has always been a source of joy for me. I was thrilled to be cast in the production of Bones with Fuzzy Bottoms in February. I was starting to feel like myself again. We had been in rehearsals for a few weeks when it happened -- Covid_19 hit the United States hard.

Even as the pandemic grew in severity in early March, I could not foresee how bad it would get in the coming months. Friday, March 13, was the day my world came crashing down once again. In one day nearly every job, volunteer position, and class I had was cancelled. The last holdout was Bones. It was the last thing in my grasp and yet it was in a rehearsal that we learned the "Safer At Home" order had been enacted. The last piece of my life I was clinging to was now gone. Or so I thought...

Our director moved us to virtual rehearsals because with a scheduled opening date of May 22nd, we had hopes of the city reopening in time for our opening night. We used Group FaceTime calls to do the rehearsals. The most challenging part was having to act to the wall so we could practice blocking from our homes. While I was grateful to still have a project to work on, I must admit I rather hated the virtual rehearsals. What I most needed from the play was to be around my fellow thespians and it was killing me to have to connect via FaceTime. I am a people person and will always prefer working in-person to anything virtual.

With the end of quarantine nowhere in sight, we started rehearsing snippets of the play for our preview performance on Facebook. While I should have been excited about this I was actually terrified. Terrified to have to set up a background and lights in my tiny bedroom!

Once I figured out what my "set" would look like I was actually quite proud of it. I know I look pained in this photo but I promise I am happy about my background and lights! Sometimes I found it hard to stay connected to the scene in rehearsals, but performing for Facebook Live proved to be more thrilling than I anticipated! Just like a live performance small things inevitably went wrong (such as an actor losing WiFi spontaneously), but that is my favorite part about live theatre. I get the biggest adrenaline rush dashing around backstage in an attempt to solve a dilemma to ensure an actor doesn't miss an entrance!

Rehearsing a play amidst a quarantine presented various challenges, some internal (my fear of setting up lights) and some external (WiFi). Despite them all we persevered. Artists are problem solvers. We are creators and will always find a solution to whatever is needed because the show must always go on! So if you'd like to find out what Fuzzy Bottoms Theater Company was able to put together for you during these trying times click the link below!

You can watch the preview of Bones here.

*Please note - Rated R for language, violence, and sexual themes*

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