Despite Broadway being shut down, GCDS has chosen to persist through these uncertain times and produce the High School mainstage production of Into The Woods! The start of this school year is new to everyone, and many don’t know what to expect. GCDS is taking all of the precautions necessary to make a safe environment for our students. With traditional school activities starting up again, the annual Musical is still taking place this year. This year, the high school will be performing Into The Woods. Under the direction of Mr. De Vries, and with the help of many others, this year’s musical will be a hit.
The first question that comes to mind for many is how the musical will be executed. Throughout the school day, everyone must follow basic rules. Those include social distancing, wearing masks, and wiping down touched objects. This new normal has to carry out into the rehearsal space. The choice of musical being Into the Woods allows the talents of each cast member to be showcased while keeping the safety of the community in mind. Within the show, there are very few times when the full cast is on stage, but students can still enjoy bizarre characters while maintaining their safety.
“Even though students have asked to take their masks off, the answer is safety rules, so while singing and dancing masks have to be on”, DeVries stated in an interview.
As a community, we all need to come together and remind each other of the importance of safety. The Performing Arts Center provides a great rehearsal space since it is one of the single largest spaces on campus.
The location of the show is important to not only the performers but the audience as well. On the Old Church Road campus, students are presented with a beautiful amphitheater. It’s a stone theater located in the center of the campus. Considering the fact that the show will take place in April, rain dates are built into the show schedule. Compared to last year’s three shows of Marry Poppins, six shows are planned to run to give a great number of shows for many to enjoy.
While maintaining a constant vigilance for school protocols, going completely red is on the back of everyone’s mind. Is it possible for a high school to perform a virtual musical performance? The answer is yes, with the correct preparation, GCDS will still have a virtual musical if needed. “It’s hard to practice music online, not impossible but harder,” Mr. DeVries stated.
Kicking off the start of rehearsals in September will prepare everyone whether we perform virtually or in person. Going completely virtual will change the amount of progress each student can accomplish, but having the performance in April will give a lot of time for everyone to learn their part and feel comfortable. In the circumstances we are in, it’s complicated because of hybrid scheduling and not everyone is rehearsing at once, but there are ways like rehearsing larger groups on Fridays when there is more space.
Just like an athlete participating in a sport, students in the production are giving of themselves and their free time to do the things they love. This is a new approach to the musical and a great experience you will not want to miss. Stay tuned for performance dates and hope to see you there!