Photo courtesy of the Point Pleasant High School performing arts department.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the world has learned to adapt to this new reality, while trying to keep life as normal as possible. For actors, this was a struggle. How can you perform and show all of your emotions without getting within 6 feet of someone? As someone who was in Point Pleasant Boro High School fall show: It’s A Wonderful Life, this question was brought up by almost everyone in the cast. When we were first told about the shows we were putting on this year, it brought up the obvious question of how we would put on this show while still following all of the COVID-19 guidelines to keep us safe.
“It was really a question of how we could do this, make it as well put together as our previous shows, while still staying safe,” said cast member Sophia Addice. Mr. Kearns, PPBHS Performing Arts Director, took advantage of the situation by deciding to use the radio rendition of the show instead of the original (which would have been almost impossible to do safely). The radio rendition of It’s a Wonderful Life uses a smaller cast, and allows the actors to remain a safe six-feet distance from each other, while also putting on a great show. The radio rendition also used sound effects produced by crew members Devyn Wesolowski, Jackie Murphy and Alina Stalker to broaden the viewers experience.
Clear face shields were also used to keep cast and crew protected while putting on the production. The masks protected cast members, while also allowing the viewers to see the full emotions and expressions of the characters being played. Besides the crew members and other individuals who helped put the show together, no other people were able to sit in the audience. The production was completely live streamed for families at home to tune in, enjoy the show, and show their support while still following all of the COVID-19 guidelines. In addition, baskets of candy, snacks, sodas and custom ornaments were put together by the Performing Arts Department and sold to promote the show. PPBHS It’s a Wonderful Life radio rendition was a perfect way to celebrate the holidays with family, while staying safe and healthy. The spring musical, Mama Mia! Has begun auditions this month. I can speak for everyone when I say we are all very excited to see what steps will be taken to make this show just as amazing as It’s a Wonderful Life!