The theatre department has been busy preparing for its upcoming production “The Wizard of Oz”. A plethora of challenges face those who are making this production happen, including Covid concerns on top of the already strenuous preparations.
Putting together “The Wizard of Oz” comes with a multitude of challenges just like any other play theatre produces, however, many of these challenges are unique to this musical.
“We’ll have to look for short people for the munchkins.” musical director Johanna Whitmore said. “We have opened auditions to other schools.”
For the first time in nine years, auditions were opened up to Chisholm Trail Middle School to fill this demographic.
The theatre department has many hurdles to overcome when preparing for a production. However, in the age of covid new challenges present themselves such as quarantined performers and precautions to prevent the spread of Covid at school or during rehearsals and performances to name a few. A prime example is the use of masks during the performance.
“It is very very hard to perform in masks.” Whitmore said. “We’re not sure how it will be handled at the moment, we hopefully won’t be performing in masks, but we will be rehearsing in them.” Whitmore said.
While this is not the first year the theatre department has had to face challenges from COVID, there are certainly new conditions that change how organizers will react to these challenges.
“The Wizard of Oz is a high tech show” Whitmore said “we need an auditorium for it”.
Unlike last year, the play will be performed indoors, making finding a way to perform without masks a little more challenging. Many precautions to protect against COVID, as well as ways to seamlessly continue with rehearsals under the circumstance that a performer is quarantined have been tried and tested last year. During last year’s preparations, performers who were required to quarantine, could tune in from home and follow along through a meeting.
The January musical will feature about 60 cast members. As a result of the large cast, the rehearsal schedule will be arduous. The musical will take place on Jan. 12 – 15.