Spring musical to be recorded, put online


Macy Beal

Caroline Taylor, Max Polite, Kennedi Bickham and Eli Hinerfeld sing their parts in an in-person rehearsal for “Something Rotten!” before school was closed. Only three such rehearsals were able to take place before students were sent home.

Caledonia Abbey, Reporter

Like just about everything else at school this spring, the spring musical is moving online. Rehearsals for “Something Rotten!” began at the beginning of March, prior to the school closure and the start of remote learning. Since then actors and crew alike have been preparing for an unprecedented virtual show later this month.

But the show must go on.

“We are all rehearsing together through Zoom, including songs, and we are filming our individual parts,” junior Jasmine Tan said. Jasmine plays the role of Shylock, is a student director, and is in charge of publicity for the show.

According to her, after the parts have been recorded by May 16, actors will forward the videos to seniors Henrik Nielsen and Leland Culver, who will edit it all together — dialogue and songs — for a debut soon after.

We are all rehearsing together through Zoom, including songs, and we are filming our individual parts.

— Jasmine Tan

“Something Rotten!” follows two playwright brothers in 16th century England as they struggle to create a show amid Shakespeare’s popularity, complete with lively rock and jazz inspired musical numbers. The musical opened on Broadway in 2015, and is just now becoming available for use by other production companies, including schools.

Unsurprisingly, putting on a virtual play is no small task for the students involved.

 “Most of the grunt work itself is done by the student directors, which includes organizing rehearsals and running them,” Henrik, one of the student directors, said. “Our directors mostly work behind the scenes with the students reporting to them.”

Henrik also plays the role of Shakespeare, and “Something Rotten!” will be his final performance at Lab.

These rehearsals are happening over Zoom, so everyone in a scene can rehearse specific lines or musical numbers together.

“Mostly we’ve been working on songs right now,” Henrik said. “We’ve gotten tracks of all the songs and are rehearsing with our music conductor.”

But it’s not just the actors that are having to figure out how to produce the play remotely. Senior Caroline Taylor is the theater manager and one of the costume masters. In addition to helping direct and overseeing the production, she is in charge of developing a wardrobe without the resources that are available at Lab.

“We are redesigning the costumes, so they can be done with clothing people have at home,” she said.

Aside from costumes, other aspects of the show like choreography, set design and staging are being done remotely and will be incorporated into the cast members’ video recordings.

“I think it’s going to be interesting breaking new ground like this, and I’m really happy that we’re going to have something, since ‘Something Rotten!’ is such an amazing and fun show,” Leland said. “We’re definitely going to go as far as we can.”