The development of Gordon’s Online Learning Community would be incomplete without reimagining our flourishing after school performance program. The performing arts have long been a foundational part of Gordon life, and after school theater is an experience nearly every Gordon student shares at some point. Providing a safe place of belonging and the communal adventure of creating together, theater at Gordon School includes every student who chooses to participate, whether onstage or backstage. The engagement, enthusiasm, and energy so many students bring to the Wales Theater show after show deserves to be translated into a virtual space, and we will forge ahead into this new territory with passion and joy!
For nearly two decades, Gordon has offered four after school theater opportunities: a musical for third and fourth grades, and a play and a musical for middle school along with participation in the multi-school project Shakespeare in the City. We were fortunate to successfully complete more than half of our theatrical year on campus, and while Shakespeare in the City has been cancelled by its sponsoring school, we are moving forward with the Middle School musical beginning the week of April 20, 2020.
Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic creates unique challenges for any activity meant to be practiced in real time and space. Live theater might just be the antithesis of social distancing. However, the goal driving Gordon’s theater programming continues without pause: building community, relationships, empathy, and cooperation through the process of making plays. The new format for the Middle School musical will meet this goal, based on a series of vignettes (small scenes) that can be filmed with a solo performer, which will then be combined to tell the story of a musical. There will be no large ensemble (group) numbers, but there will be many opportunities for performers to work together filming short sections remotely, which will then be edited together to tell the story of a scene or a song.
When we held auditions for the Middle School musical before spring break, over fifty students signed on. There may be modified or additional interest under the changed circumstances. Therefore, here is the plan for the Online Spring Musical:
- All interested students should sign up here using the form below, whether they auditioned in March or not! Every student who is interested in performing must sign up by Monday, April 20, 2020. If a student is interested in working on a very limited number of stage crew projects, they should email Ms. Massey (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly.
- Students will be assigned parts during the week of April 20, when a schedule of Zoom rehearsals will be published at www.gordonschool.org/musical. Once parts are agreed to, students are expected to commit to the process, knowing that the success of this endeavor relies on the full effort of every individual.
- Rehearsals will take place between 3:45 and 5:00, Monday through Friday. Not all students will be called for every rehearsal. Students can expect to be scheduled for thirty minute sessions between one and three times each week. They may be called into proctored break out Zoom rooms with other cast members, and then asked to enter specific separate rehearsals for a period of time.
- Filming of rehearsed scenes and songs is scheduled to begin late May. Students will need to be familiar with Screencastify in order to film themselves and submit their footage for editing.
- A completed film of the musical is planned for release in early June.
- Students will be able to participate in both the online musical and online spring athletics!
Coming together through collaboration and creativity is one of the great delights we can find in this world. The spring Middle School musical continues in this spirit undaunted!
Signup is closed and rehearsals have begun! Rehearsal schedules are at the bottom of each grades' daily schedules in the Online Learning Community.