The coronavirus pandemic has caused many arts organizations to pivot to creating online content, and the RHS Visual and Performing Arts Department is no exception. This month will bring multiple productions that will stream at no charge on YouTube Live.
Up first will be the combined Winter Productions of “Nothing Good Happens After Midnight”, a short comedy by Laurie Allen, and “Monologues Unmasked”, a series of pandemic-inspired monologues written and performed by RHS Theatre students. These productions will stream together on February 5 at 8pm and February 6 at 7pm.
When school returned in hybrid form this past fall, RHS theatre students were eager to get back to performing in any way they could. “It felt amazing to get back to doing theatre after such a long break,” said senior Liam Huff. “In my now 7 years of doing theatre, that was the longest hiatus by a lot, and there was a real sense of relief being able to get back to doing what I love.”
The new online performance format was new for everyone, and cast members, including sophomore Audrey Huff, had to adjust. “Performing on screen most definitely took some getting used to. There are aspects of the stage that are so hard to replicate when every actor is confined to a box on a computer screen.” Film editor Nate Cohen, also a sophomore, agreed. “After hearing that it would be online, I was hesitant at first, but the entire cast and crew has definitely adapted to this new environment. Although it's unconventional, we’re still having fun.”
RHS Theatre will continue presenting virtual productions for the foreseeable future, and following the Winter Productions will be the world premiere of a new play, “Ancré de Sea,” written by RHS graduate Anna Mae Gordon and Kendra Mittermeyer. Filmed partly on location and partly online, this full-length farce tells the story of two families celebrating an engagement on a cruise ship, when an impending storm threatens to disrupt the nuptials and turn everyone’s plans upside down.
Finally, the student members of RHS Theatre’s drama club, known as The Company, have been hard at work creating a hilarious night of comedy with “The RHS Company Radio Show - Biff Timely’s Time Travel Trivia.” Written by senior Tyler Munson and produced by junior Emma Joyce, with nods to NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” and the classic “Quiz Show,” the program follows five characters who compete in a holiday trivia contest, causing friendships to grow and rivalries to simmer.
All productions are directed by RHS performing arts teacher Sherry Cox, and all will be streamed free of charge. “Nothing Good Happens After Midnight” and “Monologues Unmasked” will stream two performances, airing Friday, February 5 at 8pm and Saturday, February 6 at 7pm. “Ancré de Sea” will stream February 19-20, and dates for “The RHS Company Radio Show” will be announced in the coming days.
Logo Credit: Michelle Briody