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CHS PRESS: Musicals during a pandemic are more likely than you think

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Charleston High School is presenting not one, not two, but three musicals this spring.

The first musical, "The Addams Family," premiered virtually on March 5 and 6.

Schools and theaters across the world are unable to hold productions, so how did our school do it? Certainly, there were challenges, yet still a sense of normalcy.

Castmate sophomore Abby Smith said, “It forced me and many others to be more confident and really put ourselves out there, which was a positive and I think that in the future this experience will help us all grow. There was also the negative that, at least for me, I was always wondering if the show would get cancelled and if anybody would be quarantined that day which was hard as well as scary.”

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Due to the pandemic, the show was rewritten and compressed to accommodate for the health restrictions. Half the cast was on the stage while the other half was where the pit orchestra would usually be in front of the stage.

Senior stage manager Piper Rhoads noted, “Everyone had to stay 8-plus feet apart, especially when they were singing, which led to all musical rehearsals being done on microphone. This caused for me to have to run sound as a stage manager. The production time and cast were half of what they would normally be, so rehearsals were more frequent and fast paced.

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As the senior stage manager, I had to call the show and due to a smaller crew that was mainly lighting, I was the only crew member on stage.”

The cast members and stage managers only had from January 4 to February 25 to finish production. The lighting, sound, and costume crew had little over a week with the show. Also, each named character was “covered” by a cast member playing one of the Addams Ancestors in case someone had to quarantine. Some covered three separate roles.

Many involved had opportunities open as a result of the circumstances of this year. Abby Smith commented, “Because it was such a small cast, some of us had to 'cover' other characters, and I got to really learn a lot from whom I covered, as well as the other leads and covers which was really great because now I can apply this to any later theatre I choose to do.”

Rhoads pointed out that, “With the fact that the show is going to be live streamed, family and friends who live farther away and normally cannot attend, can see the show.”

Despite difficult circumstances, Charleston High School managed to have a wonderful experience for the first show this spring. It is safe to say we will all fondly remember the part we played in "The Addams Family."


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