No Matter What, the Show Must Go On


Going to see a cool movie, or binging that new show on Netflix might just seem like a cure for boredom to some, but for the actors, directors, and all the other creative artisans that put an exhausting amount of effort and work into their craft, it’s their livelihood. Since Covid-19 hit, all aspects of life have been affected. But it has especially affected the world of theatre, where your job relies on performing solely for the audience. Broadway has been shut down, with many productions canceled or postponed, but what does a production look like during a pandemic? 

Since many schools have been reopened in the U.S., it means that some high school theatre programs are able to continue with their productions, including Cass High School. But with certain COVID-19 regulations in place for schools, it can be difficult to put on a production, which was the case for Cass High School’s winter one-act production of Little Women. 

Production started in early October with nine cast members and two crew members, a relatively small cast to ensure everyone’s safety. Little Women was performed on December 18, 2020, but there were many obstacles that slowed it down along the way. All of the actors personally chose to wear masks throughout the whole production, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to other castmates. Wearing masks, while it keeps everyone safe, makes it difficult for actors to project, which makes it difficult for directors to hear the actors and see actors’ facial expressions. Another inevitable and frequent struggle was the quarantine of actors’. Multiple times during production cast members were unable to attend rehearsals due to being quarantined, slowing down the production. Rehearsals usually consist of workshopping certain scenes, or acts of the show as a whole. This is a huge problem because most scenes rely on engaging and feeding off of the other actors’ energy, and when half of the cast is missing there isn’t much to work with. Selma Sanchez, who was originally cast as Mrs. March, unfortunately, got quarantined the week of the show. This caused a lot of panic and stress because everyone was uncertain who could step in and take on the role. There was also limited space and time to perform on stage. The theatre and band shared the theatre space to allow the band to properly maintain Covid-19 regulations. This slowed production even further because a majority of the time was spent rehearsing in a classroom without the set and the props. The cast and crew only had a week and a half to get adjusted to running the show on the actual stage. Emma Buffington, who played the female lead Jo March, said “It was a really hard experience, to be honest. If someone- or multiple people- weren’t quarantined, then someone else was using the stage because of social distancing guidelines. I think I counted, and we’d only been on stage four times before tech week. Still, I’m glad that we got to put the show on and that it went well, even if it was a bit of a struggle to get there”. 

While production was a difficult and uncertain journey, the cast and crew were thankful that they were able to even perform at all. Yahaira Hernandez, who played Amy March, said “My favorite part about performing on stage is the reaction and high energy from the audience. Due to covid, we were worried we wouldn’t be able to perform our show for the public. This was hard to imagine after all the time and energy we’ve all put”. And audience members enjoyed the show just as much as the cast and crew enjoyed putting it together. “The show was really well put together, and it made my heart happy to see my friends perform again. I loved it!” said Jaden Musacchio, a senior at Cass High School and avid lover of the Thespians Society.

Although it’s a struggle, still being able to put on a production gives us hope that even if all of life can’t go back to normal, some aspects can. So the next time you watch a new film or show, appreciate all the people and the difficult journey it took, just to create something to make you smile and laugh.