The show must go on(line)!


Sophia Van Beek

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the winter musical this year has been adapted to fit these new circumstances, all while working to deliver a fun, exciting, performance.

Tim Mathas, Opinion Lead Editor

This year’s winter musical, Now. Here. This. will not take place in front of a live audience, and the actors will not be performing alongside one another on the same stage. Director of the musical Meg O’Connor explained that this decision was made in part due to the social distancing and mask wearing regulations that they are required to follow. 

“There was no way we could have an audience in the room and we couldn’t even safely have performers because of the heightened amount of droplets when you sing…there was no safe universe in which we could do an in-person musical this year, so while we can rehearse parts of it [in person] ultimately what we will do is film it and it will be streamed.”

The decision to put on Now. Here. This. strays away from the pattern of DOPA choosing more well-known Broadway musicals such as Rent, Footloose, Spring Awakening, Fiddler on the Roof, and Side Show, which have all been performed over the last five years. 

O’Connor explained, “We are doing a non-standard show. The show is halfway between a traditional musical and a revue because we did not want to set ourselves up for the lame online version of a traditional show.”

Although this year’s musical is going to be structured differently than ever before, O’Connor is confident in her actor’s abilities to adapt to the situation, even those who have not previously performed in a Masters Musical. 

O’Connor exclaimed, “The class of 2024 is amazing. There is so much talent and we have a good core of freshmen who were in the fall play experience, so they already have a sense of how we work. She continued, “They have hit the ground running in a way that is exciting to see.” 

One of these freshmen, Sage Weinstock, detailed how some elements of remote rehearsal have been beneficial to her and the rest of the cast. 

“I do feel like we are learning songs a lot faster. You can listen to the recordings over and over again… and you get to be in your space and you can say ‘oh okay I made a mistake, but I can practice it over again. Nobody heard that’. ”

Senior and Phoenix (the honorary drama society at Masters) co-president, Teddy Masters, mentioned a key element of live theater that is lost as a result of not performing the musical in person. 

“Since it is all pre-recorded there is less pressure all at one time, but on the flip side it is difficult to not have everyone be together. I miss those little moments backstage where you really build friendships. I think we are trying to work hard to get to know each other and be in this together. It is different but not necessarily worse.” 

That said, Masters was quite appreciative to be able to even put on a musical in his final year at Masters.

“I know a lot of schools have completely put all of their theater programs on hold, so I feel lucky that we can do a musical.” 

Despite the strange circumstances in which the members of the winter musical find themselves, O’Connor believes that this year’s performance (which will be available to stream starting Friday, February 26) will still be enjoyed and appreciated by its audience. 

“In a lot of ways, it is what everyone at Masters is grappling with right now, these universal themes of trying to focus on what we do have and making the most of that moment. And it’s funny!”