Stillwater theatre comes out with new musical medley


Photo by Rachel Palmer

The cast of illuminations choreographing ‘Beautiful City’ before recording it for the first time. During the pandemic the Stillwater theatre department continues to thrive.

Rachel Palmer, Layout Editor

An empty theatre is an empty heart. The Stillwater theatre department has been surviving during COVID-19 and now are producing a show called Illumination where half of it is video and half of it is recorded live. Despite the precautions, the students put dozens of hours into this show like any other. 

“A combination of student and written pieces and musical numbers from different Broadway shows,” stage manager Cecilia DeLion said. “It’s really important for people to realize that this show means a lot for the students and it applies so much to what we are experiencing today.” 

In normal years, there is a live audience of what seems like thousands in the Stillwater auditorium, but this year the live audience and feedback that actors live for is swapped with views on a video, and an empty auditorium. Due to COVID-19, this has made it less stressful on the actors, but also less personal. 

“Stage fright, everyone has it, I have it, every performer I know has it. [Performing online] removes some of the pressure, but I think some pressure is necessary and healthy especially for the arts. It helps bring it together, it ties all the ends together like ‘theatre magic’, ”senior Deklan Boren said.

I just want, I just hope people know that theaters for everyone there’s a place for every, like, if you don’t want to be on stage, you can do tech and you can still be part of this huge theater family. ”

— Michael Fredrics

 The recent wave of COVID-19 infections in April hit the musical hard. A handful of people were out because they either tested positive or because of contact tracing, so for a few days the musical went online to try to get all of their ducks in a row before they moved on. 

COVID-19 in the theatre department looks like being tested five days after exposure and then two weeks of quarantine along with everyone they have been in contact with.

“I haven’t had COVID 19, but one of my brothers, we don’t live in the same house, but I saw him and he tested positive. So even just that two weeks, because at the time the policy was two weeks after your exposure. But two weeks of not being able to come into the show and work, you just feel dismissed and you just want to be back in person with everyone else,” DeLion said.

Most freshmen have had an odd year with some of them not even having been to school physically until the third quarter. The theatre department is making an active attempt to have everyone come in and be in person so we can have a “normal” experience to the best our circumstances will allow.

“I just want, I just hope people know that theater’s for everyone, [that] there’s a place for every, like, if you don’t want to be on stage, you can do tech and you can still be part of this huge theater family,” freshman Michael Fredricks said. “I mean, we take every, like, obviously you have to audition and get in things like that. But we take people from all over, and bring them into one, like one area and like make something beautiful so I love that about this department.”