GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – High School theater looks a little different this year, but that isn’t stopping students from putting in the work and having fun.
This season, due to COVID-19, the Fox Cities PAC is putting on the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program with virtual workshops for students and directors across Northeast Wisconsin.
As part of the program, students have submitted a Behind the Curtain video about their production and department.
Preble High School and the Preble Players Theater presents Now. Here. This. on November 13 to November 21.
This is what students had to say about their experience.
What do YOU want people to know about your program?
The Preble musical is an extremely important part of our thriving fine arts program at Preble. In a normal year, we have more than 100 students involved in all aspects of the show, from costumes to run crew to cast to pit orchestra. Even though such a large number of students are involved, we work hard to create a family atmosphere and give everyone a place to belong.
What should audiences know about your production this year?
Since Green Bay schools are online right now, we had to complete change our plan over the summer. Instead of doing a big, splashy production with a huge cast and crew, we had to pare down the scope of our show.
How have you dealt with the current pandemic and alternative ways of schooling in these unusual times?
Green Bay is very strictly off-site for everyone right now, so we had to do everything online. Students pre-recorded their vocals, and they were mixed to form one ensemble track, but all of the dialogue and movement is done in the moment over zoom. This creates some issues with lag, but since we all have spent a lot of time on zoom lately, we know our audience will understand!
Why did you select this musical? What goals do you hope to accomplish with this particular show?
We selected Now. Here. This. because it is uniquely suited to be performed in an online environment. The show is set up in modules, which operate independently of each other. We also chose this show, because 2020 has been a hard year for us all, and we need to remember that a perfect time and place doesn’t exist, and that there is happiness to be found wherever you are.
Are there any unique production elements in your show?
Performing a musical via zoom is pretty unique! Also, in Now. Here. This., each scene operates as it’s own small story in the larger scope of the friends’ journey. In the last music number, you get to see how the characters made it through their earlier struggles and how their life turned out.
What are the benefits of students participating in high school theater and educational programs like Center Stage?
Our students LOVE the Center Stage program. They love the workshops, building community with other students at other schools, and getting feedback on their performances. Sometimes students who participate in fine arts can feel like outsiders because music and theatre don’t get as much publicity as high school sports. Being a part of this program gives our students some recognition in the community, but more importantly, it allows them to connect with their peers who are passionate about the same things that they care about. Students find out that they’re not strange for loving this art form and that there are hundreds of amazing students all around them who work as hard at the same things. That’s so valuable for our students mental, social, and emotional health.
Preble High School is also offering streaming access to their musical. For $7 per device, you can get On Demand streaming of the show November 13 – November 21. Once purchased, you can watch the show anytime.
All proceeds will benefit the Preble Players Theater program.