Postcards from the Pandemic
by John Forier, CWA Drama Guy
On June 4, CWA Performing Arts debuted their spring productions. Here are some thoughts about this year’s challenges and successes.
SPRING ONE ACTS- What these kids overcame just to produce these was absolutely staggering… getting everyone on film in some semblance of the same place at the same time… adhering to strict covid protocols until the last couple weeks when just about everyone was fully vaccinated… they somehow got them done.
A Dad’s Story-Written by Sam B. ’21 and Carter S. ’21 Directed by Carter S. ’21
A wacky comedy about, of all things, Dads. This one was on the schedule for last year before the school shut down right after casting. Carter did a great job with his distanced cast, even managing to stitch together some songs from kids who probably never even saw each other sing.
Written by Carys M. ’22 Directed by Isaac B. P. ’21
A Zoom drama.
A Breakfast Club for the Covid generation. Teen character archetypes creating a documentary about surviving the crush of high school life in a pandemic. Brutally topical.
The Capital High Murder Mystery Extravaganza-
Written by Sam B. ’21 and Tahsis F. ’21 Directed by Sam B. ’21 and edited by Tahsis F. ’21
Defies description. While it would be easy to call this sheer buffoonery at worst and a modern Fast Times at Ridgemont High at best, there is so much more going on in here. This is filled with unique perspectives on Identity, Relationships, Class, and Belonging. It gleefully defies stereotypes and creates a world where no one is made fun of because everyone is so painfully awkward… and the buffoonery is so well done.
COMMANDER DAVE- Three versions of the same basic script… each tailored specifically to the Upper, Middle, and Lower schools. This year’s episode is the first one to be fully filmed, which is ironic since they were all intended to be like live-action, Saturday morning TV shows from the first episode in 1998. This episode deals with some tragic cast changes, math, photon cannon supper dishes, and the usual highly relevant moral of the show.
SKETCHES- I am so proud of these sketches. So many in this class are remote, international kids, and they had to think so far outside the standard sketch comedy box. We have Zoom sketches, animated sketches, facetime sketches, and even a blockbuster trailer about a socially distanced spy called “Six feet apart… Six feet under!” These are brilliantly creative and a hoot to boot.
MUSIC VIDEOS – You will find virtual ensemble performances from the CWA Upper School instrumental ensembles, and you can explore the website to hear reflections from the students on their year as performing artists during a pandemic. Hear Symphonic Band’s performance of “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, Rock Orchestra’s mashup of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” with Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, “Beth” by KISS, plus individual performances in music videos by CWA vocalists.