In March of 2020, we had just begun rehearsals for a Disney production. We weren't sure when we would be able to meet in person, so we began rehearsals on Zoom. After a month, a quick pivot was in order. There was no clear date of when people could gather. Broadway was temporarily closed and school productions were being cancelled all over the country. We got real creative and changed our show to something we could do on Zoom. We created a show called Monologues and Musical Performances, giving the 23 kids in the cast a chance to each have their own starring role in which they got to sing and act. The cast performed the show live on Zoom in front of a large audience of friends and family in June of 2020.
This was the birth of our Virtual Musical Theater Program. We discovered programs that were designed to be rehearsed and performed on line and our first show was "The Show Must Go on Line", a show about a cancelled show that had to be performed on line. Life imitated art in this very realistic and magical performance. We also created a Virtual Cabaret. We even scheduled one in-person rehersal, 6 feet apart all wearing masks, so the kids could all connect.
The fall promises to be bright as we begin rehearsals for "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley". This show is also designed to be rehearsed and performed on line but we will offer several opportunities for the cast to come together in-person, following all saftely protocols, to rehearse. There will also be another Cabaret opportunity, a few more virtual shows and a series of musical theater and theater classes (hybrid style) for kids of all ages. As the world opens up, we look forward to the re-opening of Broadway and when we can come back to our musical theater program in-person. We are excited that in the meantime we can still offer these meaningful theatrical experiences for kids and offer ways for them to keep building their skills and their repetoire and to keep singing.
Mike Risko Music is offering some in-person musical theater opportunties as a part of our hybrid plan. We are following strict safety protocols including temperature checks, hand sanitzer stations and social distancing circles which keeps the participants 6 feet apart. Masks are required at all times and we are offering these programs outdoors in our outdoor education area which is a designated as part of our property. We also have areas on the sides of our building and we have tents to help protect from sun and rain. We are excited to be able to offer our students safe opportunities to connect in person.