Kaukauna High School overcomes challenge of performing ‘The Theory of Relativity’

High School Theater
SATURDAY 11/06/2021 11:30 p.m.

KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WFRV) – The last performance of The Theory of Relativity has come to a close, and Kaukauna High School students say they were thankful to be back on stage again performing for a live audience.

Left: Casey. Middle: Paffenroth. Right: Bidwell.

Local 5 was able to interview the school’s Musical Director and two cast members before their show took to the stage Saturday night.

Musical Director Joy Paffenroth says it’s great to be back in live theater and have people in the audience. “[The students] have been through a lot the past couple of years and being able to bring this to life on stage is really exciting,” explained Paffenroth.

As for their favorite memory? Casey, a student in the performance, says the backstage feeling of family is the first thing that comes to mind. “There’s just so much energy backstage. It’s very familiar,” added Casey. “We do dances on stage before shows to warm up. We do, like, pep talks and we have different traditions. So it’s really fun to do those again this year with everything that’s been going on.”

The Musical Director explains the show did provide a few challenges this season. “There’s no set, there’s no costumes, there’s no real choreography. It’s really just these students out on stage sharing these raw stories of humanity. And that is the challenge – They can’t hide behind something. They can’t, you know, people aren’t going to walk away going, ‘Oh that’s a really cool set piece,’ or that really flashy costume.”

Paffenroth goes on to explain the show is really just students laying their performance out on stage. She says there were some fears with COVID-19 and what would happen, and some recasting in the show a few weeks before the performance, but everyone really came together as a cast in the end.

“I also think that this particular show really tells stories that [students] can each relate to. I think anybody that’s in the audience is gonna see and hear themselves in these stories. And I think it’s important for them to be told and [students] got that and they are doing an amazing job of that,” Paffenroth added.

Bailey Bidwell, another cast member, says she believes students wanted to be involved in this season’s production because the pandemic didn’t really allow them to feel like they could hear each others’ voices.

Connecting in a time of disconnect, Paffenroth says telling the story to the audience and bringing them back to live theater really helps to also engage with the community.

As part of the Center Stage Program with the Fox Cities PAC, Paffenroth explains the students are also excited about this year’s program. “I think it’s amazing. Next week we have students participating in the Wicked Workshop that they’re doing. And it’s just a great opportunity for these kids to be showcased in such a special way.”

Original Story: Kaukauna High School telling a story through the musical ‘The Theory of Relativity’

TUESDAY 11/02/2021 4:15 p.m.

KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WFRV)- This year Kaukauna High School is taking a different route for their high school musical performance – with no set, costumes or choreography.

They are performing The Theory of Relativity, a story about how young adults handle their personal feelings and situations. The cast and crew say the show is really about telling the stories of humanity through song. “You will laugh, you will cry, you will be amazed! In this time of separation due to technology, COVID, political differences and all that disconnects us from each other, this show will remind you that we really do need each other to not just survive, but thrive in this crazy world,” said the cast and crew.

They will be performing on:

  • Nov. 4-6, 7:00 p.m.

The show will take place at Kaukauna High School, 1701 Cty CE in Kaukauna. Tickets can be purchased online and masking is optional due to no socially distanced seating, however, they do have an option to watch it online.

This school year, the Fox Cities PAC and WFRV Local 5 are teaming up to showcase over 20 local high school musical productions through the Center Stage program. The program was launched in 2016 and has been a successful piece of education in the community.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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