In the early spring of 2020, the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019)1 pandemic spread across the planet, causing a scale of infection and fatalities that was unprecedented in modern times, and that was not well predicted by scientists, public health officials and government entities. Despite travel bans and quarantine requirements popping up across the globe, COVID-19 infections continued to spread. As of February 2023, more than 6.8 million people have died from COVID-19 (World Health Organization, 2023). In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the growing number of deaths, schools and businesses began closing down throughout the world in the early spring of 2020. In addition to the catastrophic loss of human life, countless organizations suffered as a result of closures and stay-at-home orders. My work was directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as I work in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Minnesota State University, Mankato as the Director of Public Relations. We decided as a department to cancel ten productions during the spring and summer of 2020. We dealt with masks and social distancing in a performance arts environment, and decreased ticket sales throughout the second half of 2020 and throughout 2021. This paper will examine my work as a communications professional throughout the course of the pandemic. Specifically, I discuss how I worked through issues with cancelling and rescheduling productions, patron communication, and constantly evolving messaging and public health protocols. I will reflect on my experiences as a professional communicator during a global pandemic in light of three theories: strategic ambiguity, convergence of narratives, and communal coping.


Anne Kerber

Committee Member

Farah Azhar

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)

Program of Study

Communication Studies


Humanities and Social Sciences



Rights Statement

In Copyright