Due to Covid we have had to pivot away from our theatre space and take the theatre out into the real and virtual world. While we still have a focus on producing musical theater we have now opened the door for creativity as we recreate our theatre making process. With Alice in Vashonland it was great to see how kids brought their voice to the creative process. There were opportunities for script writing, costume design, choreography, filming and editing. Each student found their voice in their own unique fashion. Some students jumped on the design element (Maarten) while others came up with great script ideas. Richard and Robert brought their previous experience with filming and editing to the table. As in past productions everyone brought their acting, singing and dancing chops to the class. However this time they had to translate these skills to outdoor film locations and music/vocal recordings at home. Everyone stepped up to the plate and we are ready to learn and grow during this next chapter with The Wizard of Vashon.
It’s been a challenge. But it’s been amazing watching our students adjust and grow into the “new normal” of recording online auditions from home, doing blocking and choreography outside on video, and recording their singing parts at home to match the videos! It’s been a wonderful collaboration with Chris Dawson and Elise, too, rotating small groups of masked students to 3 different outside areas at the VCA to practice lines and blocking, learn movement and rehearse vocal music. Also, students contributed their ideas for character names, costuming and script rewriting to fit the Vashonland theme. Students quickly adjusted to playing new or additional roles when the need arose. They braved cold temps some days when filming outdoors at various island locations. We all practiced social distancing & took our temperatures before every outdoor rehearsal. This was our new normal.
We added some string parts played by 3 students of Gaye Detzer, choreography prepared by Ricco Lestrapes, guitar parts recorded by Jim and Aaron Hushagen, and a percussion part recorded by Jesse Whitford. As Elise’s and Richard’s editing of the many hours of footage is coming together, it’s become a reality just how complex putting this student production has been. Yes, it’s been a challenge – but I believe it has been a worthwhile endeavor!