Fall play adjustments due to Covid-19

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Kendall Luther/XPress photo

The Fall Showcase will feature a group number with the entire cast, which is being filmed individually throughout different rooms in Xavier’s Performing Arts Center in order to adhere to social distancing and CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines. Molly La Joie, choreographer, and Charles Judd, a freshman at Brophy, were rehearsing and filming, with the help of the video club, after school.

Jenna Burch, Staff Writer

Xavier College Preparatory’s theatre department and fall showcase have been forced to alter their plans due to Covid-19, along with many other events this school year. 

Aspiring actors and actresses know that a production begins with auditions, followed by callbacks, casting, rehearsals, and eventually a breathtaking show. 

All of these routine steps that contribute to a production have one thing in common: they are usually in-person; however, that is not the case this year.

Auditions usually take place in Xavier’s Performing Arts Center, but this year they were held virtually and students recorded themselves.

 Jessica Vining, head of the theatre production and moderator of the Drama/Thespian Club, explained that she has several backup plans and is “just taking things day by day.”

Vining’s officers have been “working with Xavier’s video club on film acting.” This includes learning lines, dance routines and songs over Zoom.

Teresa Corderman, theatre/stagecraft teacher and Children’s Theater moderator, has decided with Vining that the “fall play will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual performance” meaning that all rehearsals will be virtual but the students will be in-person for the final performance.

As of right now, the fall showcase is to be recorded and/or live-streamed, where only the actors and actresses will be present in the theatre. Xavier staff will ensure that performers maintain safety precautions regarding social distancing and sanitation while on stage.

If the number of Covid-19 cases rises, students will record and combine individual clips of themselves singing, dancing and acting, to be pieced together into a complete show.

Vining pointed out that while virtual theatre is not ideal, it has presented a great opportunity for students to learn new skills about acting for a camera rather than an audience. “With a lot of our seniors wanting to major in theatre as they go into college, almost all of their auditions have to be taped anyway, so getting used to the idea of taping your audition is a good thing to get exposed to,” Vining said.

“I opted out of it (this year’s showcase),” sophomore Grace Allen said, after she was a part of last year’s Xavier productions, “The Music Man” and “Little Women.”  She is one of several students who chose not to participate in this year’s production, mainly due to Covid-19 concerns. 

While the amount of returning cast members has decreased this year, there have also been more students, who are new to the theater, who have joined this year, perhaps, due to virtual auditions tending to be less pressure than those in-person.

As for future productions, “We hope that our spring play will still go on as originally planned (with a live audience),” Vining said. “It depends on how the fall showcase goes.”