With their face masks on, the crew for this year’s fall play prepares for opening night at a distance. As students ran around backstage, the crew and actors expressed ecstatic energy. Most of these students were unsure if a play was even going to happen at all during these uncertain times.
This year, the MCHS drama club is putting on “The Living” for its West fall play. The theme of the play is extremely relevant to these current times. Not only does the play relate to the COVID-19 virus, but how the play is being rehearsed and will be performed has been directly impacted by the pandemic.
“The Living,” explains senior Anna Knecht, who plays Doctor Harmon, “follows a young Sarah Chandler navigating through the new normal as the plague occupies London in the 1600s, learning along the way the process of grief and acceptance, and learning to find the joy in the little things life has to offer.”
Both the crew and actors have had to follow strict guidelines to ensure their safety. Senior Erin Wieronski, the former props chief for the play explains that “The guidelines include keeping masks on at all times, social distancing, and cleaning as often as possible,” Knecht adds, “The guidelines for actors [and crew] are to remain socially distanced and wear a mask properly at all times.”
Since everyone must be socially distanced and wear a mask, this may leave many questioning what happens for the audience members. They too, have strict guidelines to follow in order to see the play.
Junior Alison Anthony, who is the lighting and sound chief for the play, explains, “The current COVID guidelines for guests, are that we can only fit 50 people in the auditorium at a time, including the actors on stage, and the audience’s seats are all marked to be socially distant from one another.”
With all of these adjustments needing to be made, one would think the cast and crew might be unhappy with this year’s fall play. Instead, the crew finds a silver lining, is over the moon that they get to put on a play at all.
“I’m really excited that we are able to have a show in general,” Anthony said, “I was really worried we wouldn’t be able to have a fall play at all, and the fact we have been able to have rehearsals as normal and even plan for performances is more than I could have ever hoped for. “
“The Living” will be performed on November 6, 7, 13, and 14 at 7:00 p.m in the West Campus Auditorium. Tickets will be on sale online. Only 25 audience members will be permitted each evening. The drama club reminds audience members to follow all safety guidelines being enforced.
As rehearsal ends, the cast and crew walk out of West Campus together. As soon as they make it out of the building, they pull off their masks and, for the first time, show each other their smiles, excited for this opportunity.