Capturing Quarantine Oral Histories
Interview with Jayce Lewis



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Jayce Lewis was born in Everett, Washington. Lewis lived in Washington until third grade when their family moved to San Antonio, Texas. Lewis attended high school at North East School of the Arts (NESA) in San Antonio from 2013 to 2017 where they concentrated in Musical Theater. While in San Antonio, Lewis worked at the Rickshaw Café. In 2017, Lewis moved to New York City to attend New York University to study acting and volunteered at New York University as house manager of the theater. Lewis moved from New York City to Chicago in 2018 Lewis moved to Chicago to study Musical Theater at Columbia College Chicago. Lewis found it difficult to transfer to Columbia at first because a majority of their credits were not accepted, and it was tough to make friends their age. Lewis has worked on a number of musical theater productions at Columbia iand is currently part of Columbia College Chicago’s Trans Student Union. Lewis has noted that they enjoy baking bread, painting, and learning French. As of May 2020, Lewis is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Musical Theater at Columbia College Chicago.

Publication Date



Columbia College Chicago




theatre, theater, New York City, New York, Washington, Texas, COVID-19, pandemic, Chicago, Illinois, United States, coronavirus


Arts and Humanities | Education | History | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Imagine, you are a college student in downtown Chicago. You are halfway through the spring semester, working hard toward your degree. Suddenly, life you as you know it comes to a halt as the worst pandemic of the century roars through the country, shutting everything down in its path.Lewis is a third year Musical Theater major at Columbia College Chicago. From Everett, Washington to San Antonio, Texas to New York City, Lewis has traveled and lived on all corners of the country, but they have not faced anything quite like what they have faced in Chicago. Lewis paints a picture their life before and after the impact of coronavirus to highlight just how much the outbreak has altered their life.The shift to virtual learning meant the fate of the theater productions were up in the air.Finally, Lewis reflects on their time in quarantine, so far, and if the stay at home order has brought out more of their strengths or weaknesses. Lewis discusses what they will most remember about the pandemic when they look back on it later in life, and what they have most learned about themselves through this unique experience.Whether you lived through the coronavirus pandemic or were born ten years later, the Jayce Lewis interview will give you a unique perspective of what life was like during the 2020 coronavirus outbreak.

Conducted in spring 2020 by an Oral History: The Art of the Interview student, this interview with a fellow student in the class reflects on the pandemic and how it impacted their life. The interview is conducted based on the life history approach to oral history.

Interview with Jayce Lewis