In March 2020, only one day before showtime, the unfortunate news came that the 2020 ACS Drama Club's production was going to have to be put on hold. It was a sad night for all, as the months of work seemed to be coming to an end without being able to have their big pay off. As days turned to weeks, and weeks to months, it was confirmed that the ACS Drama Club Seniors of 2020 would not get to put on their final production. It was a year where the club had seen record high numbers, including just shy of 20 graduating seniors. After spending many years on that stage, it becomes another home, creating bonds with students ranging from 7th grade to 12th. Not many clubs allow for this sort of interaction. Where a young kid, just starting out, scared to be around so many new and older students, can share the stage with the junior or senior they have looked up to for so long, and by the end call them "friend" or "family." This was a hard year for everyone. Not being able to share this experience makes it even harder.
We fast forward to the start of the 2020-21 school year. How is this year going to work? Can it work? As the school year began, everyone was not sure if and how a Drama Club, or any club could even exist. For this year's Drama Club, everything starting slow. First step would be to try and get word out for a virtual zoom meeting. Unfortunately, participation numbers were significantly low this year, as they were with just about everything. As meetings kept going, the numbers seemed to get lower and lower. With such low numbers, is there even a way to put anything together? But how do we make sure this year's club seniors don't miss out on their final performance like the previous year had? Finally, a decision was made, we don't know how to do it, we don't know if it will work, we don't know who even wants to be part of it, but let's try something a little different. Let's try Andover Central School's first virtual Drama Club production.
With a cast of 6 members, the ACS Drama Club pushed forward with their virtual production of Karl Garner's "A Mystery Murdered." Seniors Liberty Gaylord and Katherine Reilly led the cast along with Emily Schweigart, Alexis Cavagna, Louie Simon and Willie Grant. Gregory Reilly was voted in as the club's Crew Chief and Sara French and Gracie Gaylord served as crew members. The show told the amusing story of six actors trying to perform a murder mystery, while really showing the audience that they really don't like each other. The decision was made to base each actor's character off of a character from the game, "Clue." This gave a focus and idea for each actor to design their costume and overall look. The task of costuming, set, props, and hair/makeup fell strictly on each actor. Everyone took to their extended duties with ease, and pulled off an amazing virtual production.
It was a new experience. The club had to deal with many technology issues. Luckily the students knew more about the zoom platform than did the directors and they were able to teach them a few things. Overall it was a fun and positive experience for all involved. With many odds against them, the club accomplished their goals. They were able to put on a production, they were able to get this year's seniors their final performance, and they got to give the recognition last year's seniors missed out on, by dedicating ACS's first virtual drama club production to the club seniors of 2020.
Although this production is free, the Drama Club would graciously appreciate any donations.
- Seth Grant, ACS Drama Club Director/Advisor
Check out the ACS Drama Club's first ever Virtual Play here: "A Mystery Murdered" Virtual Play