Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Kristy Meanor, December 6, 2020

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:03 - Life and accomplishments before COVID-19

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Partial Transcript: Okay, we're rolling. Uh, my name is Kopana Terry and it is December 6th, 2020 and I'm talking with Kristy Meanor. Hi, Kristy.

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about her life and work before the COVID-19 pandemic. She explains how she first got into theater and talks about the various organizations she is a part of.

Keywords: Artistic directors; Community theaters; Family; High schools; Professional development

Subjects: Auditions; Dance teams; Families.; Music.; Plays.; Theater.; Wetumpka (Ala.)

00:04:41 - Working with the local community theater

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Partial Transcript: Well, I want to know more about the community theater. And you're so involved with your community theater and you've really I think got--got your finger on the pulse of community theater around the country right now.

Segment Synopsis: Meanor describes her work with the Wetumpka Depot Community Theater and talks about some of the community outreach they do.

Keywords: Board of directors; Communities; Community outreach; Community theaters; Daily life; Penguin Project; Play production; Shows; Wetumpka Depot Community Theater; Wetumpka Depot Players

Subjects: Employees.; Plays.; Theater.; Volunteers.; Wetumpka (Ala.)

00:09:06 - How COVID-19 affected community theater

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Partial Transcript: Well, that brings us up to COVID. Uh, w--we--we now know your uh 24/7 life with the theater pre-COVID. What's happened--well first let me ask you, what did you think was going to happen when y--when they first started talking about the country shutting down?

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about when she first heard about COVID-19 and how it affected her work at the community theater. She talks about doing rehearsals over Zoom and putting on some virtual and socially distanced performances. She talks about how the community has helped the theater during the pandemic and how the theater has been impacted financially.

Keywords: Attendance; Communities; Community support; Community theaters; Contracts; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Denial; Government mandates; Licensing; Patrons; Rehearsals; Revival shows; Rural areas; Virtual performances; Zoom (Video teleconferencing software)

Subjects: Actors.; COVID-19 (Disease); Finance.; Masks.; Pandemics and COVID-19; Plays.; Social distancing (Public health); Theater.; Vaccines.; Wetumpka (Ala.)

00:18:47 - How COVID-19 impacted other theaters

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Partial Transcript: Are you hearing horror stories? People--theaters that are folding, people who are getting out of the business entirely?

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted other theaters across the United States.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Financial issues; Professional theaters; Unions; Venues

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Finance.; Theater.

00:20:17 - Staying motivated during the pandemic

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Partial Transcript: I want to back up now and talk to you, uh, as a creative. You said something earlier on about, uh, how difficult this has been for you because you haven't had that--your normal creative outlet. Uh, what have you been doing to stay inspired and engaged?

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about struggling with her mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She talks about some of the work she has been involved with that has helped her stay motivated.

Keywords: Antidepressants; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Creative outlets; Inspiration; Outdoor shows; Performances; Programs; Writing projects

Subjects: Books.; COVID-19 (Disease); Mental health.; Plays.; Theater.

00:24:41 - How actors and actresses have been impacted by the pandemic

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Partial Transcript: Some of the actors and actresses that have crossed your stage, um, have been working in other theaters. Um, some of your alum ha-have worked in other theaters. Um, what's your general sense of how--how they're getting along there?

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about how the pandemic has affected the actors and actresses that rely on theater as a creative outlet.

Keywords: Communities; Community theaters; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Creative opportunities; Creative outlets; Professional theaters

Subjects: Actors.; Actresses.; Alabama.; Artists.; COVID-19 (Disease); Mental health.

00:27:30 - Community theaters in Alabama

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Partial Transcript: So you said something really interesting about, uh, the sheer volume of community theater there in Central Alabama. Wh--why do you think it's such a hotbed?

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about other community theaters in Central Alabama and how they may have been inspired by Wetumpka Depot.

Keywords: Central Alabama; Community theaters; Wetumpka Depot Community Theater; Wetumpka Depot Players

Subjects: Alabama.; Theater.

00:28:45 - Theater after the COVID-19 pandemic

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Partial Transcript: What do you think the world is going to look like when we finally go back online?

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about the future of theater after the pandemic is over. She talks about having to put on smaller productions and accommodate for potential exposure to COVID-19.

Keywords: Casting; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Inspiration; Live audiences; Productions; Radio plays; Rehearsals

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Quarantine.; Social distancing (Public health); Theater.

00:34:09 - Her experience in theater

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Partial Transcript: I want to ask you about your life as an actress. Y--you're currently the director but you've done your share of, uh, acting and--and whatnot. Walk me through that. How did you--how did you make a transition from being on the stage to running it?

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about transitioning from acting to directing and her experiences with both.

Keywords: Auditions; Closing night; Designing; Directing; Performing; Theater classes

Subjects: Acting.; Actresses.; Theater.

00:36:44 - Labor unions in theater

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Partial Transcript: Okay, educate me a little bit about, uh, unions. There was--there was a word that you used earlier, uh, the--uh, we were talking about, I think, the theater down in Montgomery.

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about labor unions that represent actors and technicians in theater. She talks about working with both amateur and professional actors.

Keywords: Equity actors; League of Resident Theatres (LORT); Professional actors

Subjects: Actors' Equity Association; Labor unions.; Teachers.; Teaching.; Theater.; Volunteers.

00:39:47 - Teaching piano classes

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk about your, uh, music teaching. So you teach piano?

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about the piano studio she teaches at and how the pandemic has impacted it.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Gigs; Methodist churches; Music classes; Piano studios; Virtual classes

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Finance.; Music.; Piano.; Social distancing (Public health); Students.; Teachers.; Teaching.

00:42:32 - The future of the pandemic / Her support system

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Partial Transcript: How long do you think, um--let's just say hypothetically, uh, the vaccine is longer incoming or it's not as effective as they thought and this thing just continues to drag on forever.

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about what might happen if the pandemic doesn't end as soon as they are predicting. She talks about the support system that is helping her get through it.

Keywords: Board of directors; Broadway; Churches; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Rehearsals; Support systems

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Finance.; Friendship.; Income.; Mental health.; Pandemics and COVID-19; Vaccines.

00:45:55 - More about labor unions

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Partial Transcript: Is there--is there anything connected with this or connected, uh, with you and the effects that--that the pandemic has had on you that we haven't talked about? Anything that we haven't touched on?

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks more about the Actors' Equity Association and explains how it protects actors.

Keywords: Equity actors

Subjects: Actors' Equity Association; Labor unions.; Theater.

00:48:23 - The Penguin Project

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Partial Transcript: You know, I did want to ask you about, um, the Penguin Programs. Uh, tell me--tell me a little bit more about that.

Segment Synopsis: Meanor talks about the Penguin Project, a program that gives kids with special needs the opportunity to be a part of a play. She talks about how it impacted the kids, their families, and the local community. The interview ends with Meanor briefly talking about a play she is putting on soon.

Keywords: Communities; Community theater; Penguin Project; Productions; Rehearsals; Relationship building; Special needs; Wetumpka Depot Players

Subjects: Children with disabilities.; Friendship.; Parents.; Plays.; Theater.; Wetumpka (Ala.)