When they started rehearsing in September 2019, the cast and crew from St. Patrick School had no idea that their scheduled May 2020 performances would be upstaged by a global pandemic, but thanks to extraordinary flexibility and creativity, the show WILL go on…in SUMMER!
When in-person school was suspended in mid-March, the cast of 23 seventh and eighth graders continued rehearsing via Zoom through the end of May, and later in the school parking lot to allow for adequate social distancing. Given the rapidly changing and unpredictable situation, drama teacher and director Kathleen Moore had no idea if, when, or how the kids would be able to perform, but she wasn’t willing to give up without a fight.
“These kids poured their hearts and hundreds of hours of rehearsal time into this production, so I wanted to at least keep the door open to the possibility they could perform at some point,” Moore said.
Working with local health and safety officials, the school devised a flexible plan to allow for very small, socially distant performances, and began changing the choreography and staging so that the performers would not have physical contact with each other. Students wore masks for outdoor rehearsals and were required to perform temperature checks prior to arrival.
“I’m so impressed with how well they’ve handled a really difficult situation,” Moore said. “We’re truly blessed to have such dedicated, adaptable students. The positive attitude they’ve shown throughout this whole experience has been a blessing to all involved!”
The performances will take place at the St. Patrick Church Parish Life Center, and audience size has been limited to 25 percent of building capacity, with social distancing enforced and masks required. While it’s not quite the performance they envisioned (except perhaps Olaf the summer-loving snowman), Moore hopes the show will bring joy and much needed smiles to both those who perform in it and those who come to see it.
Performances will take place at 7 p.m. July 13, 14, 15, and 16. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased by clicking here.