Image of Professor Morales Honor Presentation

Although the students in Angel Morales’ acting courses can no longer engage in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the metaphorical show has gone on!  
Since pivoting to distance education model in March, Morales, Professor of Theater, has leveraged social media and streaming services to connect his students with their classmates and the theater experience. For his Acting 1 course, he had students record and share unlisted YouTube videos of their monologues in lieu of giving in-person performances. Morales then collected the links and shared them on Blackboard for the class to watch and post comments following academic guidelines.  
The class also watched and critiqued the plays “American Son” and “Pipeline” using Netflix and BroadwayHD, respectively. 
The virtual stage has also been extended to Morales’ honors acting class in which students have been working on the Performing Arts Legacy Project in collaboration with the Actors Fund and the Research Center for Arts and Culture to document senior performers’ careers. The semester-long honors assignment will culminate on Thursday, May 7, with an oral history presentation conducted via Zoom. 
While the semester did not unfold as Morales had originally planned, he and his students have made the most of the experience and embraced the new learning opportunities it has presented—some of which may be replicated in the future. 
"Although learning the art of stage acting remotely has been a challenge, we could still come up with creative ways to make certain students gained some insight and hands-on experience, this time performing for the camera,” shared Morales. “Theater teachers around the world have united through different platforms to share their best practices and realize how impactful and beneficial technology can be. While some of my students expressed their frustration with not being able to translate their ideas to the stage in the second half of the semester, others found that performing for the camera was less frightening. I look forward to implementing more ideas for online theater teaching this summer and fall."