The University of Central Arkansas theatre program will stream a performance of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s “The Rivals” on Thursday, Oct. 29 and Friday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 2 p.m., on UCA Theatre’s Twitch and YouTube Channels.

“The Rivals” is a comedy of manners centered around the complicated relationship of Lydia Languish and Capt. Jack Absolute and set in Bath, England, during the 18th century.

“A couple of pioneers made the switch to virtual theatre in March, when otherwise their productions would have been doomed,” said Kevin T. Browne, associate professor of theatre and director of “The Rivals.” “UCA Theatre followed their lead so that students could still get the theatrical experiences they yearn for.”  

This is UCA Theatre Program’s first livestream production to air over Twitch and YouTube. It has been a new experience for everyone involved in the show. 

Instead of building actual scenery for the shows, the director and production team had to make 12 actors in various locations seem like they’re in the same space. 

“The obvious challenge is not actually being in the same room as your scene partner,” said UCA senior Blake Johnson, who plays Capt. Jack Absolute. “It’s definitely an exercise in imagination when you don’t have someone right in front of you to react to. I have found that it isn’t all that different acting-wise.” 

“Our students and theatre program have overcome tremendous challenges to bring theatre to the people in the middle of a pandemic,” said technical director Jamie Bray. “It has been stressful and difficult at times, but the end product is something we are all very proud of.”

Individuals can watch the performances by visiting UCA Theatre on Twitch here: www.twitch.tv/uca_theatre and on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcOCbPdzYwrH9NHIKtZSQHg during performance times. 

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) includes the Departments of Art and Design; English; Film, Theatre, and Creative Writing; History; Language, Linguistics, Literatures, and Cultures; Music; Philosophy and Religion; Political Science, Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology; and the School of Communication, as well as Reynolds Performance Hall and the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. The CAHSS office is located in McCastlain Hall, Suite 110 on the UCA campus. Visit the CAHSS website at uca.edu/cahss or call (501) 450-3293 for more information.