Diving out of bed, throwing on whatever clothes and doing school in my bedroom over my computer. Staring at a screen all day, trying to learn. Contacting friends by calls. Trying to dance, hit, kick, pirouette and jump over a screen in my living room. It sounds crazy, sounds like something out of a science fiction book where everyone is trapped inside, but it’s a completely real reality for everyone across the world in 2020/2021. We had heard the news coming from China. At the time I was practicing for the professional production of Matilda. We were working day and night to perform, which is why it was such a disaster to me when I got sick. I was in bed for two days when we heard that all schools would be shutting down for two weeks. I was actually pleased with the news, I could get better and not even miss a rehearsal. Little did I know then that we would be online learning until the end of that year, that Matilda would be cancelled all together. However, my story meant nothing compared to what I witnessed scrolling through social media. “West End to close for the unseeable future” “Broadway closed for the time being” “All theatres and concerts to be cancelled” “Movie to be postponed until the end of the pandemic.” The arts had been hit...hard. Thousands of; performers, camera people, artists, directors etc across the world had lost their jobs, some before their big break had even begun. Fundraisers were set up, governments promised to open up as soon as possible and performers were recording songs via zoom. It was mad, the fact that such a prominent part of international culture had been stopped. For a while we didn’t know how long these giant theatres would be empty. To be completely honest, we still don’t. Nevertheless, music, drama, art and dance will pull people back to the crowded velvet red seats once again. We’ll all feel the chill when the lights dim and the music starts playing. The arts will be back.
Zaria Jankelowitz Gelvan