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Carthage presents a video recording of “Frontline,” an original play drawn directly from the words of front-line health care workers during the pandemic.

During J-Term 2022, Professor Martin McClendon and the students in his Verbatim Theatre Techniques class conducted interviews with six longtime health care professionals from around the country. After whittling 12 hours of comments down to a compelling script, class members gathered remotely on Zoom in February to record the live performance.

Adding to the project’s uniqueness, most students came into the class with no theatrical experience. Those studying nursing, social work, and psychology collaborated with a handful of theatre students.

The verbatim performance lets viewers see through the lens of caregivers who have dealt with COVID-19 up close, both by treating patients with the disease and by contracting it themselves. Although the interviewees’ names and employers are kept confidential, the emotional highs and lows come through in the students’ portrayal.

“I hope it’ll remind folks just how much our health care workers risked and sacrificed to protect us all,” says Prof. McClendon. “And maybe we should be a little bit kinder to everybody around us because you never know what someone is going through.”

Everyone is invited to watch the recorded performance, which was edited by Nicky Caldwell ’23. It can be viewed at any time on YouTube.

Watch the premiere of Frontline