By Stefanie Sadocha
The Fine and Performing Arts Department at OBHS held their annual production over the weekend of March 12th. Although this year's show looked different from productions of the past, students were still able to impress the audience with their performance of the musical Songs for a New World.
Directed and choreographed by Ms. Teriann Chiappardi and produced by Mr. Anthony Femino, the musical was a new experience for all, given the limitations due to Coronavirus. Students had to be 12 feet apart from each other and wear masks throughout the performance, which caused changes in the script that would traditionally have students closer together.
“There were obstacles that we needed to overcome, given the circumstances, but I think that it made the end result more satisfying because we still put on such a great show,” shares senior Ava Aschettino.
Songs For a New World is a unique production in which each character is a different storyteller who is displaying different challenges experienced throughout life. The characters are mostly based in the five boroughs of New York City, with some exceptions, such as Mrs. Clause (played by senior Ava Aschettino) and Betsy Ross (played by senior Muskan Kumar).
Similar to years past, students put on three shows over the weekend. However, community members who wanted to watch the performance were not allowed to watch in person. Instead, each show was live streamed, and the link was provided to those who purchased tickets. Despite a few technical difficulties, the viewing experience from home was pleasant for most. However, to accommodate the seniors and their last show, Chiappardi and Femino allowed the parents of each senior to watch one performance in person.
While the show would not be possible without the dedicated cast, the stage crew and pit orchestra were also vital components to the successful production. The stage crew met weeks leading up to the show to coordinate with the cast and perfect final details.
“The crew was a lot smaller than usual because of the obstacles due to the Coronavirus, so we all had to really come together and work hard to get everything done,” Stage Crew Manager Rebecca Keller shares.
Ms. Brenda Murphy conducted the pit orchestra, which consisted of musicians in grades 9-12. The pit orchestra held practices months before the performance before accompanying the cast and crew just days before the show. Similar to the performers, the musicians also had to be 12 feet apart and were spread out in the seats of the auditorium.
Although everyone involved in this year’s production faced new obstacles, every student rose to the challenge to produce a successful show. Congratulations to the cast and crew on another fantastic performance!