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Whitworth Theatre Tackles 2020 in Its First Virtual Production: "Hindsight"

October 1, 2020

It’s raw. It’s real. It’s 2020. Whitworth Theatre’s original fall production, Hindsight, gives the audience a look at the people, places, challenges and circumstances that have shaped our world in 2020, all through the eyes of student artists. And for the first time, remote locations will be their stage. 

Twenty-five theatre students were asked during their first online class with Andy Christensen, assistant professor of theatre, what is it to be who we are in 2020 and how this year impacted people’s perceptions of life, race and community? Armed with these questions, the students set out to interview more than 50 people on the Whitworth campus and throughout the Spokane community. 

They sought people facing those challenges head on: the peaceful protester at the front of the crowd in downtown Spokane, the homeless person dealing with new challenges on the streets, and the essential workers who reported to work day after day amid the pandemic.  

Now, their stories will be told through the spoken word, poetry and song – all during a virtual show. 

Christensen devised the idea from a quote by Nina Simone, an American musician and civil rights activist: “You can’t help it. An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” He took it literally and launched something Spokane theatregoers have not yet seen. 

“I thought to myself, in the midst of so much that is going wrong, maybe the gift of this is getting a chance to teach students what it is to be artists for right now and not artists doing plays that were written 10, 20, 400 years ago,” Christensen says. “It’s real-time artistry making something that responds immediately to the moment that they find themselves in.”

Not only will the actors play a part in one of the most technically challenging shows Whitworth Theatre has ever produced, but all of the student technicians will become the lead designers for the show. They will light the actors from their homes, create the perfect hair and makeup for unique scenes, and master the art of sound, which will be crucial for this performance.

The first performance will be livestreamed on on Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Viewers can enjoy prerecorded performances on Oct. 17, 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. and on Oct. 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available on the same website and are $15 for a single viewer and $25 for multiple viewers. 

For those unsure about watching a play virtually, “Do not worry,” Christensen says. “What I see people trying to do is resist the form. What we’ve done is just lean in.” 

“We’ve expanded our definitions of what theatre is; what this moment is,” Christensen says. “We’re not on intermission. Life doesn’t take an intermission. It’s easy to think that COVID and all of this is a pause and that we’ve maybe stopped living. Life is still going on, and if our job as artists is to respond to life and engage with it and reflect that, then we have to reflect what it is right now – not reflect what we used to be or live in between.”

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Kim Dawson, theatre department program assistant, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3707 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or