Theater Students Perform Self Directed Musicals


Submitted by Emerson Hartman

Almost Stars, a production by one of the student groups.

Caroline Nolan and Isabel Young

The theater department will be performing virtual productions called “Mini Musicals” this week that will be recorded and uploaded to the VHS Student Theater YouTube channel today. Each performance is around 20 minutes long, with plot and dialogue written by the students, and songs in genres ranging from 80’s to pop incorporated into the musicals.

The necessary Covid-19 protocols have presented new challenges for theater students. Sophomore Haley Sekel saidher group practiced their lines together on Zoom. Sekel’s group members recorded their parts separately, and Sekel, who’s experienced in editing video, stitched together everyone’s lines to make one cohesive story. 

“Having to record our parts virtually presents another challenge because we’re already writing the storyline and dialogue,” Sekel said. “Now, we also have to make sure that all the scenes we want to include would look realistic enough with everyone in separate rooms–it takes a lot of planning in advance.”

Directors like Sekel are responsible for making the plans for their groups’ rehearsals and keeping group members accountable by setting deadlines. Another theater student, junior Izzy Talu, is participating in the Mini Musicals as a general cast member.

 “Since I’m a junior, I help out the lower classmen or the new cast members who might be confused,” Talu said. “We’ve put a lot of time and effort into our performances, and we would love it if people would watch them and support us.”

Theater students are making the most of their performances with the new protocols, but they are excited to get back to a regular school environment, so they can put on their performances as normal.

“This mini-musicals project is really cool because we’re writing and directing it, and the students have a lot of control, so I hope we do another project like this after Covid when more people can see it,” Talu said.

Both Sekel and Talu mentioned the sense of community within the  student theater group, regardless of students’ grades.

“You get to be friends with people in different grades who you wouldn’t normally have in your classes,” Sekel said. “We’re really like a family.”