New beginnings: Return to in-person

A look at CSU performing arts with Holly Holsinger

The past academic year has brought it challenges to performing arts students and faculty at Cleveland State University. However, out of a time unknown comes an opportunity for rebirth and re-establishment. Recently appointed Chairperson of Theatre & Dance Holly Holsinger gives an insight into what that looks like.

Inside the CSU Department of Theatre & Dance. Photo by Trinity Stevens

“Coming out of this pandemic, we have learned to become flexible with our craft, but are more grateful than ever to be able to collaborate in the same space. Now we have a new challenge, to support each other in a way so that we are able to safely and successfully make this comeback together,” stated Holsinger.

Having planned the first live performance season in a while, the department moves forward with plan a, but now knows to always be prepared with multiple backup plans ready to go at a moment’s notice.

One of the school’s partners, Playhouse Square, has recently instated a vaccination requirement, which gives Holsinger added confidence that they can continue moving forward safely.

Being able to return to performance spaces at Cleveland Playhouse, CSU has a full season lined up, opening with “Blithe Spirit” on Oct. 21 and followed by a workshop production of “Late, A Cowboy Song” in November.

The Spring will also bring audiences the musical “She Loves Me,” and another play, “The Gentle Villainy of Richard III.” And of course there will be a dance concert each semester.

Holsinger mentioned that, “we [are moving] forward with purpose and I have as strong sense of reward and accomplishment in my work. The goal is to grow and nurture our programs, both theatre and dance, and I look forward to rebuilding them to pre-pandemic standards and better.”

Her work extends well beyond that of the performing arts, she considers the support of students, faculty, and staff to be her upmost priority as department chair.

She says, “it is the little things that go into keeping up the moral, to serve as a reminder that they always have a home here. Even just as simple having a snack or a can of Pepsi on hand to give to a colleague can help get them through the day. It’s about making everyone feel welcome. I appreciate and enjoy all of those that I work with.”

When it comes down to it, Holsinger hopes that each student has been able to grow, not just as an artist in their time here at CSU, but also as a human being. Allowing them to find passion in their work and confidence in who they are.

To Learn more about CSU Theatre & Dance, or for show information/dates, please visit their website.

Author: Trinity Stevens

Trinity Stevens is a current student at Cleveland State University majoring in Dance in Community, minoring in Theatre Studies, and pursuing a certificate in Arts Management.