In March 2020, as we began rehearsals for a Disney production, it was uncertain when in-person meetings would be possible. We turned to Zoom for our rehearsals, but a month later, the situation had not improved. With Broadway temporarily closed and school productions being cancelled across the country, we had to get creative. We pivoted and changed the show to something that could be performed on Zoom, creating "Monologues and Musical Performances," which allowed each of the 23 cast members to have their own starring role. The cast performed the show live on Zoom in front of a large audience in June 2020.
This marked the start of our Virtual Musical Theater Program. We discovered programs specifically designed for online rehearsals and performances, and our first show was "The Show Must Go On Line." Life imitated art in this realistic and magical performance. We also created a Virtual Cabaret and even scheduled one in-person rehearsal with all participants wearing masks. Our program director, Miriam Risko, even earned a certificate from The Broadway Teaching Group in Teaching Theatre Online.
The fall of 2020 was promising, as rehearsals for "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" began. This show was also designed to be rehearsed and performed online, with several opportunities for the cast to come together in person while following safety protocols. In addition, there were more virtual shows and a series of musical theater and theater classes for children of all ages. The winter production was "Super Happy Awesome News," and the spring 2021 show was "Could You Hug A Cactus," which was a hybrid show.
Now, we are fully back to in-person musical theater, but we can still find opportunities to use virtual musical theater. We are excited to continue offering virtual theater experiences and incorporate the new skills and techniques learned over the past year. We will also look for opportunities to use the virtual platform for rehearsals and shows.