Drama Club Virtual Production Spreads Laughter, Not COVID

Drama Club Virtual Production Spreads Laughter, Not COVID
     Since March 2020, many
extracurriculars have been cancelled, but
under the collective efforts of the participants
and advisors, Drama Club managed to keep
the students engaged and the community alive.
In fact, members even formed a stronger bond
as they tried new things every week. As Mrs.
Sundberg said: “When life hands you lemons,
we made lemonade—the show must go on…
  With such positivity, Drama Club put
forth the virtual production Ten Ways To
Survive Life In A Quarantine, an original play
by Don Zolidis that portrays students’ life
during lockdown. “It is a collection of smaller
stories and individual monologues, and the
purpose is just to laugh,” explained Nina
Ottesen, a cast member of the play. “It’s very
important for us to sit down and have a good
laugh, especially during this time!”
                The format was completely new to the team. Instead of working as a group and having stage crews to create sets and
transitions, the actors had to organize and record their own monologues. “It was very different. I’ve been doing theatre since fifth grade, and let me tell you, I’ve never had an experience like this.” Nina told us. “The big thing usually was to have fun, but it’s hard to do that at home. Rehearsals were done in a group and independently thorugh Google Meets.Organizing our own sets and costumes was definitely something new.”
                The stories in the show were hilarious in their absurdity. For example, Nina plays someone who has fallen in love with a lamp. “Quarantine did that much to her, she had to resort to it.” Nina remarked. The character pretends she is a princess and the lamp is a prince, so she wears pink pajamas and a Burger King crown. Another character, played by Jake Dean, is a kid no one liked at school, but before quarantine acquired a large amount of toilet paper. So, when everyone else fell into the “toilet paper shortage,” he was able to say “look who has it all now!”
                 After the monologues were finished and recorded, they are sent to Mrs. Sundberg (the stage director) and Mr. Hennings (the editor) for finalization. “For the first time, Mr. Hennings and I did rehearsals in a Google Meet format—one on one with students working to rehearse their monologue performances.” Said Mrs. Sundberg. “The show takes a comedic approach to the quarantine and gives the audience a good laugh since we all lived through this in 2020. The students were so excited to perform again, and they didn’t let the fact that we couldn’t do it in person stop them in any way. They embraced the change and their performances were amazing.”
               Mrs. Sundberg reached out to Broadway on Demand to help stream the show, and also decided with the team to donate proceeding benefits to Long Island Cares: The Harry Chapin Foodbank. Finally, the finished product was presented to the audience. Everyone had a great night of laughter and raised over one thousand dollars for the foodbank!
               “The play wouldn’t have come together without Mrs. Sundberg’s and Mr. Hennings’ work. It was impressive how they got it together.” Nina reflected.
                 So, here’s cheers to the team that managed to make delicious lemonade out of the lemon called 2020! At this point, I very much want to join Drama Club and experience the fun. It was one of the few clubs last year that ran remotely after  lockdown, and many students looked to it to connect with their peers during a difficult time
of isolation. This year, they are still working to complete creative challenges and try new ways of performing via Google Meets, every Wednesday 3-4pm. For anyone interested, the Google Classroom join code is uugm5or. I don’t know about
you, but I definitely don’t want to miss out on this