A little thing like a global pandemic can’t stand in the way of the passion Mora students have for theater. Mora’s student thespians proclaimed the show must go on — or at least go online.
Instead of the typical fall performance, the Mora drama department is presenting three one-act plays, rehearsed over video call and final performances recorded for public view on YouTube.
The shows will be uploaded to the Mora High School Theatre Fall 2020 YouTube Channel on about Nov. 25.
Mora High School English teacher and theater director Hope Murray said the performances will only be available to view for a limited time —so watch them sooner rather than later.
The plays are a drama called “Gossip” by Brian Hampton; a comedy, “Fortunes Read Virtually,” by Kamron Kincaid; and a children’s play called “A Mystery in the Forest” by Murray herself.
Murray said a virtual performance has had its challenges and surprises.
The way the students have adapted to a virtual show Murray described as “remarkable.” Though they have made it work, there is still something missing.
“The hardest part, I think, is the lack of camaraderie. The neat thing about doing theatre is that the students develop a bond as strong as any other team — sometimes stronger — and at the end of the process they have created a beautiful work of art. The difficulty has been in not being able to develop the bonds and the friendships that occur organically in a rehearsal situation. It’s hard to get to know someone during a 90-minute rehearsal over a Google Meet,” she said.
“But kids are so resilient, aren’t they? No matter what life throws at them they — at least this group — have found ways to adapt and thrive.”
Other challenges include scheduling a time for rehearsals, and dealing with technology and internet connectivity issues.
“Some people have better WiFi than others; some people have to account for their family’s using the WiFi at exactly the same time as rehearsal. People freeze in place, they get kicked off the meeting, they can’t join the meeting because it’s snowing or raining — technology issues are abundant,”said Murray.
“But then, this is live theatre. I’ve been in plays where entire set pieces collapsed in the middle of the performance. The show must go on!”
Murray said she has been impressed by the resilience and talent of the students, but misses seeing them in person and feeling the energy student actors emit.