Across the country musicals and plays have been shut down due to coronavirus but nestled between Lake Champlain in the mountains of the Adirondacks Willsboro Central school seems to have defied all odds
The sound of musical theater, something that hasn’t been heard in the halls of schools and communities for some time. Now, with help from state and local officials, the show – for some schools – can go on.
“Once the governor gave the approval for some fall sports, we started to look at you know, what would the theater arts look like. We kind of chatted about what we felt was safe under those certain guidelines from the CDC and our local health departments and we came up with a plan.”
When Hopkins got the approval he needed, he found a musical that fit perfectly within the CDC guidelines – Avenue Q – School Edition, written by Jeff Whitty.
“This show really did seem to make the most sense with only three characters needing to be “human” the rest are puppets. And the cast is written for seven to nine.
One senior Mayah Green tells me COVID guidelines were not the only challenges they had to face. She says the director is usually a big help to the cast.
“You can’t see her face or her lips so if you forget a word she was always there to give it, and now we can’t see anything but her eyes and her eyebrows so it’s a little weird.”
You might be wondering how the students were able to sing? Jennifer Moore, the music director for the production explains the school purchased special masks for the show.
“And also for singers who perform to have room to project their sound and to also insert a microphone inside the mask. It has a soft frame that comes out and around and over the nose.”
Even with all of the rules, guidelines, and challenges. All of the students agreed that it was refreshing to be back performing in person.
“It was awesome because we all love performing in front of an audience, it’s something that we can do together with all of the people that we are working with. We haven’t really had that as far as extra curricular.
Hopkins ads he hopes their production will be an inspiration to other schools to bring Theater back to in person.