We apologize for the length of this email, but it’s a very important one.
As you know, we promised to deliver a Drama Club plan for the spring semester in late February. After many meetings, and much planning, we are happy to announce that plan.
Beginning March 8th, we will be moving to a mixed virtual/in-person rehearsal plan. Most music rehearsals will continue to be taught remotely, while blocking and choreography will take place in person at Mount Nittany Middle School. We will be following the COVID safety guidelines approved by the administration, and used by the Music department and the State High Thespians wherever in person for rehearsal:
Everyone will be masked at all times.
Hand sanitizing stations will be set up on both sides of the stage. Everyone must use them when they enter or exit the stage.
Social distancing will be practiced as much as possible when on stage, and at all times off stage.
Breaks will be taken to clear out the space, and when possible, rehearsals will take place outdoors.
Additionally, because it is still not safe for large gatherings, we will not be producing live performances of any of the shows. However, we still wanted to give the students as complete an experience as possible, and have come up with a plan that will allow us to do that the best we can.
Students will carry on with rehearsal - learning music and choreography, working on character development and staging. They will be costumed and wigged, and work with props. Sets will be built, and the productions will come to life, just like any other year. While we will have a very limited backstage crew, there will be plenty of opportunities for crew members to contribute.
Cast and crew will come together for a 2-week Tech Week(s), beginning April 26th. Since we have 3 shows to work on, not every show will be called every day. Then, on May 8th, we will end the year by holding an all-day Final Dress Rehearsal, where each cast and crew will “perform” their show, which will be recorded for archival purposes. While we won’t be able to have an audience outside of Drama Club members, we will be sharing the recordings of the final rehearsals with Drama Club families.
The tentative schedule* for May 8th is:
Sister Act: 9:00 am to 12:00pm
BREAK: 12:00 pm to 1:00pm
Happily Ever Before: 1:00 pm to 4:00pm
BREAK: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Rock of Ages: 6:00 pm to 9:00pm
*Students will only be required to be in attendance for their show, but will be able to sign up to be members of the limited support crew, scattered throughout the audience, if they wish, for the other productions. Showcase numbers will be filmed throughout the rehearsal process.
Because we will not be able to sell tickets for the productions, but will still be accumulating the normal expense associated with producing a show, we are planning a fundraiser - an “Act-A-Thon”, scheduled around the Final Dress Day on May 8th. Stay tuned for details!
Because this is a shift in the original plan, as well as a shift in dates, we are looking at adding some rehearsal time to the schedule. We also need to be able to move forward with a cast that we know will be able to attend rehearsals and the Dress Rehearsal Day in person, and may need to recast roles for any students that may no longer be able to participate. In order to make this more manageable for the advisors, we are asking the parents and guardian of each student to complete this survey. Please have this completed by March 6th, so we can have adequate time to build schedules and adjust casting if necessary. If you do not complete the form by March 6th, we will assume you do not want your student to participate and they will be removed from the cast/crew.
We appreciate all the support you've provided us during this challenging year. Your students have been an absolute bright spot in the middle of a gloomy time, and we are so grateful for each and every one of them. We hope you find our compromise the best case scenario for this year, and we support all decisions you make in regard to this plan.
All the best,