Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy proudly presents “Frozen Jr” with a cast of students from both the middle school and high school classes. Originally uncertain of this year’s performance, the student body is excited to know that the show will go on, especially the seniors. Current covid proticols will require a variety of major and minor changes to the preparation and execution of the production of the musical. Drama and Music directors, Dina Barnaby and Jason Penner, provided much insight into these changes.
Dina Barnaby, Middle School Dean of Curriculum and Culture, and Consultant for Gifted Students, is in charge of the drama and the acting portion of the musical, while Jason Penner, Director of Band and Choir, is organizing the music portion of the musical. Both staff members took time out of their day to give their input and thoughts about this year’s cast and the plan for the safety of the actors and audience.
“Frozen Jr. is a new and exciting musical that is sure to blow the audience away! We can expect more physically expressive acting because all actors will be wearing masks so they need to act more with their body than their expressions,” said Barnaby. “This will prove to be more of an educational and experience-capturing event. Some of our most experienced and enthusiastic actors are graduating in the summer, this year’s musical is an excellent way for the organizers of the musical to scout out the most devoted actors.”
A large portion of the cast members are playing multiple roles. Jason Penner hopes that this will push the younger cast members to carry more responsibility and creativity into their roles. This will be treated as more training for the younger cast members as this musical is on a smaller scale than the previous years.
Safety of all students and volunteers are being carefully considered, including shortened 45-minute rehearsals, and rehearsal intervals. The cast is also split up into 3 rehearsal groups, to avoid larger crowds. In addition, masks are worn at all times, and contact is restricted between the main leads, immediately sanitizing afterward. The cast continues to practice social distancing and mask wearing during all performances.
For spectators, things will be different as well. The musical will be limited to a 100 person audience; parents of the actors and stagehands will be able to purchase tickets first to ensure they can all come, after that, tickets will be sold on a first come- first serve basis until max capacity is reached.
It has not yet been determined if this year’s production will be the first recorded and live-streamed school production for families who cannot attend. A final decision will be made based on legal restrictions and budget constraints. Although this year is a struggle, we can hope to “let it go” and get back into our routine as a school.