|Oberlin is known for its dedication to the performing arts, and the Class of 2020 carried that tradition proudly forward. While many graduates had spring recitals and performances canceled due to COVID-19, they still left their mark on artistic endeavors of all kinds over the last four years. Additionally, the last four years also saw the renovation and expansion of performing arts spaces on campus, including the Eric Baker Nord Performing Arts Annex, which opened its doors in the fall of 2018. Regardless of the venue, members of the graduating class have headlined performances and shows of all kinds during their time on campus.
Examples include leadership in theater productions like Urinetown, What We Look Like, and Angels in America; the work of graduating seniors to revamp the popular OBurlesque, whose semesterly performances always drew a crowd; and putting on an opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, to an online-only audience after COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings were put in place. Similarly, many Conservatory graduates live streamed their final recitals — the culmination of years of hard work and dedication — in response to the pandemic. The Class of 2020 also played an important role in supporting the Oberlin Summer Theater Festival, which officially closed its doors after the 2019 season, and won awards for their artistic achievements, both on campus and outside of it. Seniors also headlined intercultural performance events, like the annual Colors of Rhythm, and infused all parts of campus with movement, joy, and creative expression.
Above all, members of the Class of 2020 proved their artistic excellence time and again, even in times when performance and artistic expression were incredibly difficult. We are certain that, in the years to come, this group of incredibly talented actors, visual artists, photographers, playwrights, dancers, singers, musicians, and more will continue to push audiences to the edges of their seats, and carry on the tradition of excellence that they built here at Oberlin — and we cannot wait to fill the seats before you.