Disney's Descendants - April 17 - April 25, 2021

Warrensburg-Latham High School

 From the Director 

     This is my eighth show at Warrensburg-Latham and my family and friends always ask me, "How many more years are you going to do that?" This question is a lot more prevalent in the stressful weeks leading up to a show and especially a show during a pandemic.

     Most shows have stressful moments. I've had to deal with last minute cast changes, broken bones, allergic reactions, technical difficulties, weather related cancellations, costume and equipment malfunctions, printing delays, and the list goes on. Nothing, however, could have prepared us for this year; it was just crazy! How were we going to do a show with the restrictions we were given? From the start, April and I agreed that we were going to do something. We weren't sure what it would look like, but the Warrensburg-Latham drama kids deserved an opportunity to perform.

     We held virtual auditions, cast a show that could be streamed online, and began rehearsals on Zoom and Discord the first week in November. Emily jumped in with choreography, Gavin took charge of music, and April taught the blocking all online. Through videos, music assignments, and PowerPoints we held rehearsals and made it work. Through it all, these kids were champs! We didn't step on stage until January 25th and began filming March 2.

     Members of the community were so positive and thanked us for making it happen. Parents enjoyed walking past their cast member's bedroom and hearing singing and dancing from a Zoom rehearsal. This is why we do it, right?!? For the kids? We all want to be that teacher, coach, or director that makes a difference in the life of the students we work with.

     We had more than one cast member who had to quarantine throughout our onstage rehearsal period, but the week before we were scheduled to film, I was placed in that situation. It was so frustrating, because there is nothing you can do, but stay home. Cast members, parents, and Emily, our choreographer, stepped up to help April out and to fill my void. I Zoomed into rehearsals; sent pictures and videos back and forth; and FaceTimed with April, Jake, and the cast. I was so proud of how everything came together, even without me "being there."

     Nothing can replace being at rehearsals and watching the integration of sound, sets, lights, music, props, costumes, and makeup. I missed watching this cast bring energy and life into their characters, interacting with other cast members, and having fun with the show. It was hard staying home. I missed it. I missed it a lot.

     When I returned, I was filled with such a sense of pride over their accomplishments. I'm not an emotional person, but coming back to the show was a tear filled moment. That's when I realized I'm not really doing this for the kids. I'm doing it because I love it! I love putting down my math books and being creative. I love interacting with these kids and helping them achieve their very best. I love working with a team who gives everything they've got, who isn't afraid to try new things, and to make our ideas come alive. It took a quarantine to make me step back and see how much I was missing and how much I wanted to be there.

     So, family and friends, you're just going to have to put up with my antics a little longer. Costumes and props will continue to litter my house and I might be a little stressed as I juggle another show. In my eight years in the drama department at Warrensburg-Latham, it's the kids I've worked with who have made a difference. They have filled a void in my life and made a difference in me.



Page 3 of 24