Wauconda High School fall production premieres online Friday

  • Drama and fine arts students at Wauconda High School built a set and filmed outdoors for the first time to create the fall play, which will stream online today and Saturday.

    Drama and fine arts students at Wauconda High School built a set and filmed outdoors for the first time to create the fall play, which will stream online today and Saturday. Courtesy of Scott Metzger

  • Drama and fine arts students built an outdoor set and worked with cameras, sound and lighting to create a live theater experience, which debuts online Nov. 6 and 7.

    Drama and fine arts students built an outdoor set and worked with cameras, sound and lighting to create a live theater experience, which debuts online Nov. 6 and 7. Courtesy of Scott Metzger

 
 
Posted11/6/2020 5:20 AM

Given restrictions due to the coronavirus, the question for Wauconda High School theater teacher Scott Metzger was how to produce and present a fall play with meaning for the students involved.

A main stage musical requiring hours of in-person setup and cast rehearsals wasn't feasible. So, standard practices were modified and adjustments made to create and assemble a finished product resembling a live theater experience.

 

"Definitely different," Metzger said of the process involving 62 students.

"The play ends up being a mixture of live scenes, student-recorded scenes and Zoom," he said.

A series of scenes, monologues, dialogues and songs are meant to entertain and impart a lesson for the times. It's the first time a show for the school has been performed outside and filmed, Metzger said.

The play is based on Robert Fulgham's "All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" books that feature basic lessons such as "be nice," "be kind" and "say you're sorry."

Through theatrical storytelling, the comedy celebrates life from the whimsy of children to the wisdom of old age, according to advance material.

The show will be streamed on YouTube with a live, monitored chat for audience reaction at 7 p.m. today and Saturday. Tickets are $10 at www.waucondahs.seatyourself.biz.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Wauconda High School's theater department typically presents a play in the spring and a musical in the fall. The spring production was cut short due to COVID-19, and a Zoom version was sent to parents to watch.

Given the circumstances, Metzger wanted to let any interested student participate.

"We felt the students had lost so much. We didn't want students to have to audition," he said.

The turnout was a pleasant surprise, he said. It included 11 freshmen, who had been attending school remotely.

While the cast of 28 rehearsed virtually, two crews of mask-wearing students built a set outside. Another crew learned how to work with cameras, lighting and sound, Metzger said.

When the set was ready, the cast arrived in small groups to record their scenes outside and stayed 10 feet or more away from each other, he said.

Some scenes were filmed on Zoom and students recorded songs themselves. Metzger and three students stitched together the elements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Working outside had its challenges, such as the sound of dried leaves blowing by, Metzger said. But unless there was a major mistake, the action didn't stop, and the production includes some miscues just like you might see on stage.

In the Purple Press student newspaper, Macie Hanson, drama club president, said the experience was "100% worth it."

"I will be able to look back on my senior year and how the pandemic affected it, and be glad that I made the most of it, even though it was completely new and different," she said.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.