The show must go on! With our theater unavailable for the spring play because of COVID safety guidelines, our Drama Club had to get creative in order to still perform for a live audience this year. Our Drama Club is premiering a drive-through play on Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10. Audience members will view the performance from their cars as they drive from scene to scene in the parking lot.
The school has been open on campus in a hybrid model since August 2020 with the Centers for Disease Control recommended health and safety guidelines in place. One safety precaution is that only staff and students are allowed in the building, which prevented the afterschool club from a typical performance in our theater.
“Although I knew our theater wouldn’t be open to families because of COVID restrictions, I wanted our amazing drama students to have the experience of performing live in front of their family and friends,” says Laura Butchy, drama teacher and drama club adviser. “After seeing a drive-through play at the McLean Community Center, I knew it was ideal for our Drama Club. This format allows them to perform to live audiences and use their improv skills.”
BASIS Independent McLean commissioned Midsummer Mystery from playwright Monica Flory, who wrote the show to be performed by students in grades 4-12. She collaborated with Butchy to keep both performers and audience members socially distanced and wearing masks.
Midsummer Mystery follows a community theater’s matinee of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that loses its magic when a wealthy donor’s car becomes drama central, and the potent potions within it fly away. Can a clever stage manager connect the clues in time to call the cues for the evening show? This theater’s future depends on it! The mystery is designed to be interactive with the audience.
With a decreased audience for each performance, the number of shows has dramatically increased from a typical drama club play. There are 43 performances, all of which are sold out, in addition to the 16 faculty and staff dress rehearsal preview performances earlier in the week.
There are six scenes in the play, and five lead actors who travel with each audience (each car). One of the lead actors, Shalini S., did a video blog about a rehearsal, view it here! See photos of the performance below.
Break a leg, Red-Tailed Hawks!