Theaters across the region are trying to figure out how to take out the in-person elements of performances, but still make them enjoyable.By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The stage lights are dark across the Cultural District. To the north, the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School has moved virtual.

“Theater is all about being live and in person but we’ve had to take that element out of it because we had to, so how do we still make it enjoyable?” said Tom Schaller, who is the director of theater at the school.

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It’s a question faculty across the region have found difficult to answer, but they are adapting.

“Our motto is ‘let’s focus on what we can accomplish,’ a lot more acting for the camera to identify by getting closer to the camera rather than walking,” Schaller said.

While Lincoln Park has not seen a drop in enrollment, more students are looking to other fields for college as even universities move auditions virtual.

“For the students who are wanting to do musical theater — and singing is deemed one of the most unsafe actives to do right now,” said Lauren Lieberman, who’s a director of college counseling.

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So what do the adaptations and changes mean for the future of the arts?

“Jobs are really few and far between. There are a lot theaters that are struggling right now, ones we used to visit. We hope and pray we can come out of this and still find a way to do this art form,” Schaller said

Schaller told KDKA that’s where creativity comes into play, with teaching during the pandemic and letting the public know that art is still here.

“I’m hoping that the regret of it being gone and missed will inspire people to be fearless within guidelines but coming back and being face to face,” Schaller said.

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A number of local smaller venues across the city are staying relevant with virtual performances.