Wednesday, April 21

Rehearsing alone, performing together: theatre produces its first virtual play, “Alone, Together”

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Through vibrant monologues and the enactment of impacted relationships, theatre’s “Alone, Together” lit up the virtual stage on the nights of Nov. 19 – 21st with relatable and heartfelt sentiments for all of us. 

The cast, composed of 17 members, performed a collection of scenes and monologues that delivered the following message: “Even though we are far apart…we can still find ways to connect and build relationships or experience life together,” Theatre Teacher Emily Thornber said.

Upon the making of the show, cast members met weekly over Zoom to rehearse their lines. Rehearsals lasted for a month and a half until the scenes were recorded and then compiled into the final hour-long product.

The scenes and monologues depict relatable scenarios of various relationships, having been impacted by the pandemic in both realistic and humorous ways.

In the scene “Neither Here nor There,” cast members Leigh Anne Lemoine and Lindsay McKinley play two college friends, Katy and Alexandra, who catch up over Zoom after months of having not heard from each other. They are taken by surprise by the news they have for each other: Alexandra was on a yacht for spring break instead of a cruise, and Katy might not be returning to school for their senior year. However, just before the scene closes, Katy and Alexandra come to accept that although things have changed, their friendship has not. This scene very much mirrors how people have felt disconnected from their loved ones in the real world. 

Photo courtesy of “Alone, Together”

The scene “Regular Schmegular”, performed by Marina Raynaud and Olivia Bocchieri, metaphorically represents how “normal life” is currently unattainable and the thought of returning sounds out of our reach. The scene opens with a customer trying to order a “regular coffee,” which apparently does not exist. The virtual barista then proceeds to complicate the order by asking for precise details, such as size, milk type, and blend. In all of these cases, the “regular” option is unattainable, gradually making the customer more confused and frustrated. In a broader context, this scene reflects our own feelings in regards to the changes the pandemic has brought.

The final scene of the play is “Batman vs. the Joker on Zoom,” performed by Chance Reynolds, Greg Steiner, and Alara Sweet. In a humorous way, the scene demonstrates that even Batman misses the normalcy of fighting crime in the city and his rivalry with the Joker. The Joker then reassures him that their hatred for each other will always remain. 

Reynolds, a freshman, said that although his first high school theatre show was not what he expected, he enjoyed the experience and thought that the overall creation process went very smoothly.

“One challenge was audio cutting out sometimes…especially for my computer…But besides that, I think it went really well and not too many complaints on our end,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds also said that he can see himself auditioning for more virtual shows in the future.

With the slim chance of school reopening in the second semester, Thornber hopes to find a virtual musical that students can audition for. Especially after the cancellation of the musical “Mamma Mia!” just a week before its premiere back in March, Thornber said she would like to find opportunities for students to continue to participate in the performing art, despite the dramatic changes.

“It’s really sad and it’s really hard, because part of the magic of theater is being in the audience and it happening in front of you, in real time,” Thornber said. “So, I think a lot of magic is definitely lost when you’re watching it virtually, but there’s still some excitement and it’s still fun…and it just made me so happy to know that there were students out there who really wanted to continue this experience and to help make theatre happen.”

Photo courtesy of Emily Thornber
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