What It’s Like Doing a Musical in a Pandemic


Abby Holbrook, Journalist

Arapahoe High School’s theater department just closed their show, “The Addams Family”, and managed to put on an amazing performance in the midst of a pandemic. Live shows, theater performances, and social gatherings in general, have been very limited in the last year, but they still got to perform on the stage, together, with a limited, but in person audience of fifty people for each show. 


Bianca Meske, a senior and the Drama Club President, was especially anxious and excited for this show to go on because there had been so many roadblocks through her high school theater career. “We really want this show to go well because last year got cancelled and two years ago we lost our theater teacher and director in the middle of show week.” Meske said, “we need some good luck and to finish out strong, because we haven’t had a good musical in three years.”


When “Seussical, The Musical” got cancelled opening day, the cast and directors, were crushed because all their work was never showcased, but at that time, no one could have imagined that a year later, they would still be challenged in putting on a musical with factors like social distancing, masks, and quarantines. Senior Tiernan Palmer said “It was weird not to be able to touch or be within 6 feet of other cast members on stage, physically the show felt dead for a long time as all of the interactions we had, were forced to be solely vocal from a distance.” 


There wasn’t supposed to be a live audience, and that was another hardship and obstacle the cast and directors were ready to face. Palmer added, “Everything getting canceled last year and the movie we did this fall there was a real concern that we wouldn’t have any live show.” After not getting to perform in almost two years, that idea was saddening. But Bianca Meske came in and changed that reality for the cast. She explained “I convinced Brooks to give us some form of an audience during an officer meeting, and he said we could each invite 2 people, which was a win.”


There was also some learning and experiences and good things that came from putting on a live show with so many restrictions. “My favorite part of our “CoronaVirus” show was learning how to connect with your cast-mates, as well as with the audience in a setting that can feel so isolated,” says Maya Kwiatkowski, another senior in the cast. “They (the audience) gave us so many great laughs and reactions which helped fuel our energy to perform each night. 


Doing a show in the middle of a pandemic is nothing short of challenging, and there were so many setbacks that the cast did not even expect, but from those challenges, they were able to learn, grow, and put on a fantastic performance that could be streamed to people all over the country.