Montezuma-Cortez student actors might not have live performances this spring, but community members will still be able to enjoy their acting talents – through special, videoed showings.
This Friday, Montezuma-Cortez High School’s theater department will share a filmed performance of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” through YouTube Live, followed by a livestreamed question-and-answer session with the cast and crew on Zoom.
And on Saturday night, middle school theater students will perform a dramatic reading of “The Enchanted Bookshop,” which will also be shown online.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to share the hard work these students put into these two shows, even if it isn’t exactly live theater,” Montezuma-Cortez High School theater director Nicholaus Sandner told The Journal in an email. “We’re going to make these big events to the best of our abilities, and we’re excited to share with the community.”
The high school’s theater students were in their final week of rehearsals for the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” when the coronavirus pandemic shut down school, and their shows.
“Right before the rehearsal, we were told that the district was making plans for how to handle the coronavirus spread,” Sandner said. “We were told that there was a chance we wouldn’t be able to open our show the following night, so the students reached out to their families, and we put on the best show we could.”
The show turned out “great,” Sandner said, and community members filled the auditorium, despite the short notice.
They had hoped the show would still go on – just postponed – but soon that was ruled out, after Colorado Gov. Jared Polis furthered restrictions on group gatherings. So they shifted to their backup plan, the video streaming.
The link will be available online at the M-CHS theater department website. The performance itself will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, but at 6:30 p.m., special content will be showcased, including rehearsal photos, sponsor advertisements and a few quarantine renditions of tunes from the musical.
After the performance, the cast and crew will take part in a livestreamed Q&A on Zoom.
Saturday night’s dramatic reading of “The Enchanted Bookshop” by middle school drama students also will be broadcast online, with the link posted on the M-CHS theater department website as well. It will begin at 6 p.m.
The students have been rehearsing the reading throughout this week.
“We will have a ghost light on to honor all the theaters that are dark right now, and to honor our theater space that we cannot be in,” M-CMS theater director Angela Gabardi told The Journal. “Our hope is that students and families can circle around the computer and enjoy some laughs together with our ensemble.”
Both theater departments will host online versions of their awards ceremonies the following week. M-CHS will have its “Thespies” awards ceremony on Friday, May 15, and M-CMS will have its awards presentation on May 16.
“It has been a very odd way to end the year, but students are passionate about finishing the year with joy!” Gabardi said.