“I knew in the NFL there were a lot of injuries after strike season, and I saw that when baseball came back there was an increase in the injured list,” said Dr. Michael Pitman. , director of the Columbia Center. “It has become clear to me that musical theater artists are athletes and that they are going to have the same problems coming back on stage because they are not in good vocal health – they are deconditioned and they are asked to come up. in power quickly. “
Mark Hunter-Hall, a physiotherapy supervisor at the Harkness Center, said there is another factor to contend with: the sequelae of Covid-19 for artists who have had episodes of the disease. “We are doing an injury assessment to pick up people who had more severe respiratory symptoms who might need more work to treat,” he said.
Clay, who will play Elder Price on Broadway when “Mormon” resumes performances on November 5, said he noticed changes in his body just because it wasn’t happening. “I’ve lost a fair amount of muscle mass – my abdomen doesn’t look the same and my arms don’t look the same,” he said. “And I was playing with the dog and I was out of breath now.”
The downtime also affected her voice. The day he heard that “Mormon” was coming back, he sang the sheet music in his apartment and noticed a strain. “It was a bit of a rude awakening,” he said.
He took action. He enrolled in singing lessons, seeking to rebuild vocal stamina and technique. And, although he was unwilling to return to the gym due to potential exposure to the coronavirus, he supplemented the outdoor running with weight training and basic work in his apartment.
“I was a lot more nervous than excited, because I couldn’t help but think that I would never be back to where I was,” he said. “It wasn’t until we ran the whole show from start to finish and I felt good to myself like, ‘OK, now I can see it, and I’m happy to keep pushing until we were getting there. “”
Luba Mason, a “Girl From the North Country” performer, who returns on October 13, has started physical training, daily vocal exercises, and drum lessons as she plays drums in the show. “Like a lot of people, I had the 15-pound Covid on me,” she said. “It’s not about my appearance – it’s really about endurance, having the strength to do eight shows a week, six days a week.”