The COVID Diaries - November 18 - November 21, 2020

Colonial Players

 Notes from the director 

Thank you for attending The Colonial Players first virtual show, The COVID Diaries!


While planning this summer, I hoped our students would be able to perform to a live audience. Wishful thinking, I know. My heart broke last year when our students dedicated countless hours to productions they were never able to perform.


The theater has always been a second home for me — a place where I can forget my troubles or stress and focus on being creative. I wanted to ensure our students had that opportunity this fall.


Enter The COVID Diaries: a chance for our students to create a unique show during these unprecedented times. The opportunity to not only explore acting, but also music composition, writing, directing and more. Of course, the environment in which we accomplished this was completely different. During the week, our cast willingly extended its screen time to join rehearsal. The cast members’ active participation in adapting and expanding their skills to perform on the small screen was fun to watch. From writing monologues and songs to performing and directing, our students eagerly jumped in to create a unique and memorable show. What makes this show so incredibly special is their willingness to share their personal experiences and vulnerability during these trying times. While some parts of our show are serious, we also sought to infuse humor to add much needed levity during these stressful times. And each Saturday, I looked forward to rehearsal on PW’s frontlawn to see what exciting new and creative ideas the cast would bring to the table.


As if the above wasn’t enough, for many of our scenes, our cast members became videographers, having to remember and apply their blocking and characterization while also filming themselves.


To the cast: thank you for taking this journey with us. I appreciate your openness and vulnerability in sharing personal stories which created this heartfelt show. I hope you are proud of the final product which reflects your amazing personalities and talents.


In addition to the cast, I would like to thank my partner in crime, Melissa Downer (PW Class of 1994) for her time, dedication, and creativity to bring this concept to life. I also extend my heartfelt thanks to Jen Crea for her support in ensuring the production runs smoothly and Tom Peeler for elevating our show with his video production. I am honored to work with such a great team and to call them friends.


Thank you to our Colonial Players parents for their enduring support of their sons’ and daughters’ love for the arts, as well as to the Plymouth Whitemarsh HS and Colonial School District Administrations for their support of our production. A special thank you to Mother Nature for making every Saturday during the run of our fall production sunny; because of you, our cast members were able to get out of their houses and bond, with masks on, of course, over their shared love of theatre. And finally, to my parents and husband, thank you for your love and support as I explore my passion for theatre.


Please join us again for another streaming performance of The COVID Diaries and for our soon-to-be-announced spring musical. Your continued support allows us to create wonderful shows and memories on PW’s “stage,” thereby keeping the arts alive.



Valerie Cucinotta Collado (PW Class of 1997)

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