Stetson Theatre Arts Presents “The Way Things Were” — a Virtual Remembrance of Life Before COVID-19

Stetson University Theatre Arts ends its 115th season with a free online performance, titled “The Way Things Were: A Virtual Theatrical Retrospective with First-Hand Accounts of Stetson University, DeLand and our Corner of Florida.”

The virtual production begins streaming on Thursday, April 15, 7:30 p.m., and can be viewed online through the remainder of the Spring 2021 semester. The run time is approximately one hour. The performance was edited and recorded by And You Films. Cultural credit will be available.

The livestreamed production, directed by Ken McCoy, PhD, professor of theatre arts at Stetson, is based on people and events not widely known or recognized at Stetson and in the DeLand area. Those people and events come from interviews collected by members of the West Volusia Historical Society’s Robert M. Conrad Educational and Research Center, along with materials from Stetson’s archives, historical newspapers, letters and other remembrances of DeLand residents.

The cast: Delicia Bent, Aliya Cruise, Julexis Gonzalez, Jackson Gray, Hugh Kiser, Caleb Roberts and Liza Tananbaum. (Pictured above, left to right: Delicia Bent, Hugh Kiser, Julexis Gonzalez, Jackson Gray, Liza Tananbaum and Caleb Roberts. Photo: Ken McCoy.)

Running the gamut from poignancy to protest, the actors’ performances provide virtual audiences with cherished memories and a better understanding of the place that they call home along with providing insight on how folks can live together — whether permanently or just passing through.

“Stetson Theatre Arts doesn’t pretend to give a comprehensive history of the City of DeLand and Stetson University, or stick closely to a timeline,” said McCoy. “What we aim to do is present remembered fragments of the past and create the impression that even though the people from our past are no longer with us, their words live on.”

-Sandra Carr