Sauk Rapids-Rice High School drama performed a radio theater version of A Christmas Carol as a live-streamed event on Wednesday, November 11.
The show was directed by Mr. Steven Mick, with Assistant Director Ms. Erin Thompson and Volunteer Director Mr. Christian Kirmeier.
Mr. Mick explained why staff chose this kind of production instead of a fall musical, as is the tradition.
“Knowing that the students could not practice social distancing on stage and in the pit drove our decision to postpone the usual musical until—hopefully—the spring. At that time of year, we put on a smaller production with a smaller cast. We decided, given the current circumstances, to offer the spring option first.”
Mr. Mick did some research and was intrigued by the idea of a radio broadcast format. “We could keep kids safer by providing them the opportunity to perform while at a distance,” he said. “The Christmas Carol choice helps us kick-off the holiday season.”
Like many activities this year, the group altered how they worked to stay safe. Mr. Mick says the cast and crew followed many COVID-19 protocols to ensure the group could continue to rehearse and perform without interruption. The group had routine temperature checks before each rehearsal and performance. The cast and crew were required to wear masks and stayed at a distance from each other. During the performance, the actors were seated six feet apart on stage. They did use microphones to help project their voices. Crew members carefully sanitized these after each use. (Mr. Mick says this is fun to watch in the live stream recording!)
Students received some crucial takeaways from this year’s fall drama experience. “I think the students found out that acting is more than just movement and facial expressions. The voice is so important and can communicate so much. That was a challenge for the cast. They had to find out, ‘What can I express for the listener with only my voice?’ Of course, it is fun to see the actors still physically acting from their spots at the microphones.”
Mr. Mick and the whole cast and crew hope that audiences can experience something new with this year’s production. He also hopes people can step away from the current reality of life—if only for a moment—to share in a magical, timeless story.
You may watch the performance on the Storm Activities YouTube channel here. You may also tune-in to hear the show broadcast on WJON FM at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 21.
Bravo, Storm drama participants! Thank you for your outstanding performance!