On December 16, the grade 10 and 11 musical theatre class live-streamed a performance into the community. Ms. Nicole Roberge and her drama students adjusted to the COVID-19 regulations in school and got help from film teacher, Mr. Mike Schoenhals, and Performing Arts Leadership students to create a lively and fun performance of songs from popular musicals. It was important for the drama students that they get to work together and create something, but without an in-person audience, a live-stream was the next best thing.
Roberge thinks that it is a very important part of some student’s lives to be able to come to school and take drama as it “creates a space where certain kids feel belonging.” Roberge feels that being in the building has proven to be more important than ever and that a lot of kids really appreciate the in-school connections. She thinks that it would be a mistake to cancel performances altogether. “A lot can be learned from preparing and performing in front of an audience,” said Roberge. “But even though there was not a physical audience, a live-stream event can still provide a great learning environment for students.”
The Cabaret included songs from ‘Fiddler On The Roof,’ ‘Hamilton,’ ‘Grease,’ ‘Dear Evan Hanson,’ and ‘Hairspray.’ This was the second live-streamed performance by River’s Edge Theater. The first was the November 27 performance of ‘A Series of Unexpected Occurrences’. A lot of work goes into bringing these performances to the at-home audience. There is the choreography, choosing the songs, rehearsals, and, of course, the technical end of things. PAL (Performing Arts Leadership) is a year-long program where students learn the technical end of production, which made possible, along with Riverside’s film teacher, this year’s performances.
Ms. Roberge said that not all schools are doing live-streams because “not everybody has Mike Schoenhals as I have.” Mr. Mike Schoenhals has played a big part in helping with the live-streams as well as “Simon Gale and his compatriots who are the live-streaming team.”
Simon Gale said that “It’s a good challenge.” And he looks forward to helping with even more performances. Performing arts leadership would normally be helping backstage with any events that are happening; however, now they do all the live-streaming work to bring the performances to audiences at home.
The streaming of the performances was a success with 444 live views on YouTube. “It was a great experience; the whole thing was a ton of fun,” said Paige McRae, a Grade 11 drama student. The whole cast is in agreement that the cabaret was a success. The show must go on! As the saying goes, and the Musical Theater students did not disappoint! Riverside can look forward to more collaborative events in the future. You can watch the performance here.