How the Pandemic is Affecting the Spring Musical

For those in the Carmel theater, COVID-19 has hit pretty hard. With last year’s musical, Peter Pan, getting cancelled and this year’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, getting moved to Zoom, it’s getting harder to believe that the theater department can ever return back to normal.

Despite this, Director Ms. Kyle Baker hopes that this year’s musical, Godspell, they might just be able to pull it off.

Because of the pandemic, there are of course some changes in the overall production. For example, actors must be masked while performing on stage, and, until rehearsals for the Street Scenes Student Show conclude in late February, all musical rehearsals are held on Zoom. 

Additionally, due to the fact that actors cannot sing and dance at the same time—as this would increase infection risk—the actors will have to pre-record all vocals and play the audio while they dance and act live on stage. The pit orchestra, which usually plays accompaniments to all the songs during the live musical, will also be practicing and recording a few songs to go along with the vocals, as band instruments cannot currently play inside. 

With all this prep work underway before the final production, what will the final product look like? Well, Baker hopes that a small audience will be able to view the final product live onstage the weekend of the show, while it is also live-streamed to those who cannot attend in person. However, she recognizes that COVID-19 could still get in the way of this, so she plans to record as many in-person rehearsals as possible in preparation of the possible case that school might close again.

As for how the actors will social distance, Baker decided to keep the cast small this year by only casting 18 students, as opposed to the normal 30 cast members. This decision was made in order to ensure there will be enough space on stage to follow safety precautions. “More people are encouraged to join stage crew in order to keep this show running. We need all the help we can get,” Baker said. 

Godspell is about growing in spirituality and reminding everyone of the important things in life, which is why Baker chose it for this year’s musical. “Because of COVID social distancing and quarantine rules, politics and people in general, many aren’t feeling the togetherness. This is a fun way to bring humans together, portray positive lessons and remind us what we are doing on this Earth,” Baker said. 

Baker and the cast of Godspell are looking forward to creating the final product, and they encourage the Carmel community to support them. “The community coming together is the point of the show. It’s especially important to remember those lessons,” Baker said.