Nonnewaug Drama Department Deals with the Coronavirus

A+black+%26+white+photograph+of+the+empty+stage+at+Nonnewaug+High+School.+After+Shrek+the+Musical+was+canceled+last+spring+due+to+the+Coronavirus+pandemic%2C+the+seniors+involved+in+last+year%27s+production+were+left+without+their+final+bows.+This+year%2C+the+drama+department+hopes+they+will+be+able+to+give+2021+seniors+their+final+show+with+Seussical+The+Musical.+%0A

All

A black & white photograph of the empty stage at Nonnewaug High School. After Shrek the Musical was canceled last spring due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the seniors involved in last year’s production were left without their final bows. This year, the drama department hopes they will be able to give 2021 seniors their final show with Seussical The Musical.

Allison Roche, Arts Reporter

The Nonnewaug High School Drama Department will give its seniors a final production by producing a play in the spring. 

In September, students in the drama department got a notification on their google classroom that the drama department will work to have a musical this spring. After Shrek the Musical was canceled last spring due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the seniors involved in last year’s production were left without their final bows. This year, the drama department hopes they will be able to give 2021 seniors their final show.

The musical that will take place this school year is Seussical The Musical. Drama club students are hopeful that they will be able to perform on the new stage at Nonnewaug High School. The renovated and upgraded auditorium and stage were completed last year as part of a major construction project at NHS. 

Students involved in the drama department are more than thrilled to hear the news. Anna Goodwin, a junior at NHS and third year drama student, responded, “I’m a bit nervous since I know it’ll be a bit tricky, but if we take the right precautions I think we can make it work. Drama is really important to me, and so many of us. We’ll do whatever we can to make it happen safely.” She added, “I hope, of course, that things get better with the virus; but whatever the circumstances happen to be, I just hope we can have a solid, full drama season and put on a great show.”

There is still a lot to work to do, but Dr. Jason Bouchard, Director of Fine Arts at NHS, and Shannon Denihan, the director of Nonnewaug Drama, made it clear that precautions will be taken to make everyone comfortable and will be done without violating any covid restrictions. Dr. Bouchard said, “the show will be produced following all Covid 19 protocols. We have chosen a show with a smaller cast, allowing for social distancing during rehearsals and performances.” 

Denihan added, “because  of Covid 19, the overall picture has changed for the arts. Thankfully, licensing companies like Music Theatre International have made accommodations to help theatres and high school programs still produce shows. They now offer licensing to stream, record, live stream productions which normally would not be the case. As a drama club we will follow rules in social distancing, cleaning, and virtual rehearsals.”

It is still unclear how seating will work out and how many people will be allowed in the auditorium during each performance. Denihan said, “we still need to maintain safety and follow protocols. This may mean staging the show very creatively and wearing masks or shields.”

Whether the show is performed live or online, Dr. Bouchard assured that “the performances will follow Covid 19 protocols and we have secured the rights to produce the show for both live and recorded performances.”

Dr. Bouchard said  rehearsals will be held twice a week, both in-person and remote. In-person rehearsals will be from 2:30-4pm Tuesdays, and remote rehearsals will be on Wednesdays and scheduled by the directors with the cast.

Students interested in joining this year’s drama production can attend auditions, which will be held November 10th and 11th from 2-4pm in the auditorium on the stage. Be prepared for singing, dancing, and possible speaking roles.

For more information or if interested in upcoming auditions, please contact Shannon Denihan at [email protected], or Dr. Bouchard at [email protected]