The unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic have taken a toll on the performing arts community. However, the CA community has been doing an excellent job of optimizing the situation. This spring, CA students and faculty members worked tirelessly to put together a virtual musical, the Drowsy Chaperone.
The Drowsy Chaperone, as Megan Schy-Gleeson put it, is a “musical within a comedy.” In the plot, a man from the present day is teleported back into the 1920s by reminiscing his favorite musicals. This musical is also especially relevant with our actuality at the moment, as the story constantly prompts the question of how can we overcome through the hard times despite loneliness and uncertainties? The characters give the protagonist a few ideas of getting through the hard days.
With the rehearsal process being carried out entirely on zoom, it is inevitable to run into some technical difficulties and virtual barriers. When asked about this new experience, Schy-Gleeson said, “Some things are harder, and some things are a little easier. Zoom is not exactly theater or film. It is instead its own hybrid experience. So everyone has been grappling with how to do this. I entered this experience with Michael Bennet, Amy Spencer, and all students with a spirit of curiosity and openness to new experiences. With every play and musical being different, and with this piece as it is on zoom, I think that there were certainly challenges to tell the story in ‘this’ zoom format, with trying to translate what is essential in the story to this type of media.”
Despite being confronted with the challenge of completing a whole musical production online, Schy-Gleeson showed much positivity toward the situation. “Inevitably there will still be more problems, but you do your best to prepare so that everyone feels supported in the process.” Please lookout for the completed version of the musical in early June, and be sure to get your tickets!