KMHS Theatre Department Reimagines Pandemic Performing

KMHS brainstorms many new, innovative ways to continue to express their love of performing!

The pandemic has definitely presented many roadblocks for LIVE performing in our communities as well as in our schools. Cobb County School District Fine Arts teachers, however, make sure safe performing opportunities are available for our students. One such experience is a reimagined format for Seussical the Musical at Kennesaw Mountain High School directed by Dawn Parker.

Seussical the Musical will incorporate over 40 students for the production, including 6 dramaturgs, 5 to 8 technical crew, as well as 30 to 35 cast members.  The virtual students act as dramaturgs doing research for literacy and foster home promotion as well as compiling an educational packet for elementary and middle school audiences.

Rehearsals during this time were definitely a challenge!  The staff and students involved in this production at KMHS followed strict procedures with mask-wearing, social-distancing, screening questions, and temperature checks.  When singing, all will be using specialized clear masks in which microphones can be placed effectively and without feedback.  All props, microphones, masks, as well as all other materials are not shared.  Each actor has his/her bin with all items.  One of the most unusual adjustments involved the dressing rooms. Students do not use the dressing rooms but have individual changing pods which were utilized the entire school year for all productions.

Photos provided by Dawn Parker

Seussical the Musical performances will be live performances with a limited capacity audience.  Audience members must wear masks and are screened as they enter the venue.  Dawn Parker manually enters the seating arrangement so that all ticket groups can sit together but are socially-distanced from other groups…another necessary pandemic adjustment.

The theatre department is offering elementary and middle school performances of Seussical JR that can be purchased as an educational package for the entire school.  This is delivered via a private link that can only be viewed by the teachers.  KMHS Theatre offered this in December with the production of Elf Jr and were asked by schools and teachers to provide another opportunity for spring.  Seussical JR seemed to be the perfect match for this request.

As a part of the effort to engage community and attach relevance and awareness to productions, KMHS Theatre will be promoting literacy statistics for the state of Georgia as well as foster home organizations as the underlying lesson in Seussical the Musical is that there is a place for everyone in this universe, and we are part of the solution for each individual finding that place as a community and a society.

Joseph Woodruff, Supervisor
Performing Arts – Choral Music/ Theatre/ Dance

Contributing Authors: Dawn Parker, Theatre Instructor – Kennesaw Mountain High School

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