On Friday, May 21, and Saturday, May 22, 2021, George School theater students performed their final theater production of the year, Heathers: the Musical. While the audience was mainly watching the performance from computer screens around the world, more than one hundred guests, socially distant and masked, were permitted inside Walton Auditorium each night.
“This was the largest amount of people we could safely have in the actual auditorium all school year,” said Maddy Prazak ’22, who played Veronica Sawyer. “Hearing the cheers before entering the stage gave me first-time jitters all over again. I had almost forgotten what it was like to perform in front of real people.”
“A huge part of performing is feeding off the reactions of the audience,” said Maia Hoffman ’24. “It’s more gratifying to have an in-person audience.”
Putting on a production amid a pandemic was no easy task. Diction, facial expression, and adjustment are paramount in a musical performance. As a result, the cast was permitted to wear face shields during the performances so that the actor’s faces were entirely visible. “Because of the use of clear face shields, our audience was able to see the totality of physical performance without compromising our safety,” said Maddy.
“The value and importance of art is made even more evident and necessary when society faces hardship; it is at the core of our humanity,” said Director Mo West.
Looking forward to next year, Maddy said, “I truly cannot wait to perform in front of a full, in-person audience again. If we fought and made art through one of the hardest years we’ve ever lived through, the sky’s the limit. It makes me wonder what’s possible for next year.”
Heathers: The Musical is based on the 1989 film written by Daniel Waters. This dark and twisted, yet pop-driven rock musical is filled with catchy tunes and belt-heavy melodies. Watch the performance here.