Surviving the Pandemic: How Teater Koma Manages to Do It

When we think of the word “theater”, the mind often conjures up an image of performers on a stage, clad in colorful and elaborate costumes, acting and telling a story live for the audience in front of them. But the coming of the pandemic proved incompatible with the live theater. Rather than risk spreading the virus, some theaters chose to close their business, going into dormancy until the situation permits normalcy.

Teater Koma is not just “some theater”. After all, how can a never-ending theater just end?

Their namesake, the comma, was chosen as a metaphor implying “continuous movement, always in motion, never stopping, never ending,” as displayed on their website. Fittingly, Teater Koma refuses to stop even when faced with a global pandemic. Rather, they survived by adapting.

The initiative #DigitalisasiKoma is an effort to keep creating. It is how the theater survives during the pandemic. Teater Koma’s old and new works are still being held to the usual standards, even when digitized. Several programs were made for this initiative, complete with their own hashtags:

  • #NontonTeaterKomaDiRumah – Various video documentation of past (pre-pandemic) Teater Koma plays, watchable from various online streaming services. Unfortunately, this program is unavailable for the time being.
  • #TeaterKomaPentasDiSanggar – Brand new plays with shorter duration held in their workshop (now studio). Complete with stage lights, clip-on mics, multicamera setup, and complete health protocol where actors and workers all wear masks and/or face shields. The complete recordings will be shown in Teater Koma’s various social media accounts.
  • #NyanyiLaguTeaterKoma – Music videos of songs written by N. Risantiarno for Teater Koma’s plays, with the same composition as the live version. While the lyrics are woven with the narrative of those plays and aren’t made separately, these songs still carry their own flair even when you listen to them on their own.
  • #PentasAkhirTahunTeaterKoma – A special end-of-the-year play available to watch from various digital devices. The live streams were only available on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th, 2020. 

Backed up by people with the skill and passion for theater, looks like Teater Koma is here to stay. 

And so, we are very honored to be able to announce that Rangga Bhuana from Teater Koma will be joining us as one of our judges for Padjadjaran English Competition 2021 this October! 
Excited to have your abilities tested and examined by one of the best? Read more about Gemasi’s biggest event of the year here.