On March 4, 5, 6, and 7, the drama club’s students will be performing the musical Swingtime Canteen in the auditorium.
Directors Barbra Peterson and James Craley have been hard at work with students grades seven through 12 everyday after school and on Sundays to put the show together.
Different from past years, this production is very small. The cast consists of 15 members and backstage there will only be one crew member versus the usual ten. The pit this year is only seven people when there are many more typically.
This year’s show is also very minimal, there is a single set with no moving pieces. The set itself is not as complicated, either. Instead of drama club providing props, students are bringing in their own things for shows and rehearsals.
Like the fall play, Swingtime Canteen will also be livestreamed and can be viewed in person. The show is also being recorded ahead of time in case something were to happen the week of the show.
Working around Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and restrictions has been tricky. During rehearsals students are to be wearing masks. They also get their temperature checked before practices and put on hand sanitizer whenever possible. On the stage, cast members should be spaced out accordingly.
If something were to happen and the school were to be shut down, practices will be held virtually.
During rehearsals, directors are recording the dances that were learned that day and posting them to a Google Classroom. This is helpful to people who were absent from practice, because it gives them the chance to look at the videos and learn from them.
Craley and Peterson had to take many things into consideration when choosing what show to put on. Things to keep in mind included being able to keep the cast distanced while having a more select cast and easier set. They also had to consider the talent they had to fulfill each role.
When asked what challenges have been faced so far, Craley said: “ The biggest challenges we have had are really minimal. We have to adjust to doing things differently because of the pandemic, and we got a later start due to the pandemic.”
Despite the changes and challenges Peterson remains hopeful. “I hope we will be able to perform in front of a live audience as well as live streaming. I feel that the actors like the energy of a live audience.
This is a fun musical with a lot of classic songs. It is very patriotic and I think it makes us think about all of the good things about our country.”
Thoughts of not doing musical did come up; Peterson and Craley were not going to let that happen after so much hard work. There are members of the drama club that have been involved in shows for six years now, and they felt they deserved their final time on stage.
After many hardships and struggles, Peterson and Craley hope that the community as well as the students will enjoy Swingtime Canteen. With the World War 2 themed show, songs, and dances, there’s a little something for everyone–in person or virtually.