The show must go on – the show, however, will likely look very different.
While students are back at Chaminade Julienne, changes are noticeable. The changes are apparent in the classroom, on the playing field and on stage as performing arts have been greatly impacted by ongoing COVID-19 concerns and restrictions.
“Similar to most processes of how we do things at school, we have had to change how we teach and plan our classes and activities,” drama and choir teacher Caitlin Bennett said. “Broadway has gone dark, but we are committed to still providing performance opportunities for our students following all safety protocols.”
School closures in the spring meant the cancellation of both the Night of One Acts and the Spring Pops Concert but, while there are no live performance currently scheduled, the performing arts faculty members are working to find creative and safe alternatives.
“We have had to rethink what is most important for our students participating in performing arts and make sure we keep those in the forefront of our minds as we reimagine marching band, choir, theatre, a cappella, band, and our various ensembles,” Bennett said.
Rethinking and reimagining are what the arts community does best.
“The creativity of our performing arts staff will be on full display this year as we navigate how to showcase our students' talents while keeping our students and community safe and healthy,” principal Greg Mueller said.
First up on the virtual playbill will be a Night of Virtual One Act Plays in November. More than 50 students have already committed their time and talent to the virtual one-act event.
“They are excited to be involved and I think they are craving ways to create and be together,” Bennett said. “One of the things we know is most important to our students in being involved in performing arts is being together and the community that is created through their shared experiences. We want to still provide opportunities for them to create together – whether virtually or together.”
In addition to the Night of Virtual Once Acts, there are plans for a cappella to soon begin virtually as well. Due to the current block schedule, both band and choir are scheduled for the second semester and future performance possibilities will be assessed at that time.
"CJ continues to amaze me with its ability to adapt and adjust to these new conditions,” Mueller said. “We are truly a blessed community with so much talent. I look forward to 'watching' as part of the virtual audience in the next few months.”
-- This story was published on Sept. 17, 2020.