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OU School of Drama to perform 'Stop Kiss' as reading to achieve 'human story' while abiding by COVID-19 rules

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Weitzenhoffer Theater

The Weitzenhoffer Theater entrance Sept. 8.

The OU School of Drama will put on a socially distanced reading of "Stop Kiss," a 1998 love story written by Diana Son.

OU School of Drama Director Seth Gordon said "Stop Kiss" is a friends-to-lovers story about two young women in New York City. The story follows the growth and development of their friendship and relationship. 

Gordon said COVID-19 precautions currently require all productions to allow for minimal contact between the actors, so the school elected to perform the play as a reading instead. 

“The play has moments that involve physical intimacy that are so integral to the plot ... there was no way we could successfully stage it under these conditions,” Gordon said.  

Performing in the midst of a pandemic can pose challenges, but Gordon said OU’s drama students are adapting well to the new policies. For staged productions, students will wear plastic face shields and practice social distancing on stage. 

"Stop Kiss" will be performed in a 200-seat theater, but only 50 people will be admitted per show to maintain social distance. Gordon said he hopes the audience will be receptive to this new normal. 

“Theater is such a tactile endeavor, and so it is particularly difficult to do it with the safety restrictions that we have,” Gordon said. “I'm glad that we're able to perform for people this semester.” 

Gordon said he thinks the story will resonate particularly well with college students who are in a similar place of self-exploration and discovery.

“I hope that everyone comes to enjoy it. It's a beautiful play and a human story,” Gordon said. 

"Stop Kiss" reading will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11 and 3 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Weitzenhoffer Fine Arts Theater. Tickets will be sold at the OU Fine Arts Box Office for $8 for adults or $6 with a student ID.

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