By: McKenna Nutter
Highland Park Senior High School definitely has its fair share of extracurricular activities. A wide range of sports for every season, awareness clubs, creativity outlets, and so many more. My personal involvement lies with the Highland Park Theatre Club. Each club and team all have their own sense of community, and theatre is no different.
The challenges that the year of 2020 has thrown at us all were hard to overcome, but we’ve been able to adapt for the safety of everyone. Unfortunately, these adaptations have left almost all of us stuck at home, and many after school activities have made plans for the rest of this year.
This last fall, Highland Theatre put together a number of student directed virtual shows. Auditions, rehearsals, meetings and tech was all done over Google Meet. The talented actors faced the challenges of portraying movement, emotion and a storyline all from the comfort of their own homes.
Each of the shows were all recorded, and are now almost all posted on the Highland Park Theatre YouTube channel at: HP Theatre. On the channel, you will find ‘The Curious Art of Critique’, ‘Please Have a Seat’, ‘The Maltese Falcon’, ‘Words, Words, Words’, and ‘Heritage’.
As fall turned into winter, HPSH Theatre was ready to start their next set of productions and everyone prepared for the upcoming recordings:
- ‘Twelfth Night’ directed by Nancy Michael
- ‘4 A.M.’ directed by Soren Chirhart
- ‘Murder in the Knife Room’ directed by Briana Heidkamp
- ‘I Said Run’ directed by Rachel Dickinson
- ‘The Virtual Support Group from Hell’ directed by Colin Ward
- ‘The Discussion’ written by Anne Douma and directed by Anne Douma and Na’Riyah Johnson
With the opportunity for in-person learning starting April 14th, HPSH Theatre is hopeful to have a socially distanced live audience for a production of last year’s planned performance of the musical ‘Matilda,’ by Ronald Dahl. With fingers crossed, we are waiting to hear if a live audience will be approved in order to continue with plans for this fun musical.
Auditions for the musical should hopefully be taking place as early as the week of March 16th. Unfortunately, a live audience is required because of restrictions on recording this specific production. It is unknown what will take place if a live audience is unachievable, but we are hopeful we will not have to change plans.
With new planned safety measures beyond the ones already being put in place, theatre is also planning to make use of outdoor areas, masks at all times, and being socially distanced both on and off stage. We are also being mindful of the spread through germs on objects, so cleaning and sanitizing will become a regular occurence.