NTC spring musical, but with a different look


Elizabeth Zapanta, Victoria Barone, Lauren Ball, and Giana Williams work on one of the many dance numbers in the show.

Jordan Spagnolli, Club President - News Editor

     COVID screening, temperature checks, masks, social distancing. The Norwin Theatre Companies spring musical, The Little Mermaid, definitely looks different this year, but these adaptations are going to help keep the cast and crew safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

     This year there is going to be a different twist on the spring musical than how it has been in previous years. Directors Lauren Schierer, Erin Shrader, and Todd Leighty have worked with the administration to find a way to safely put on the musical, and this year the NTC are performing live and on screen at the Norwin High School stadium April 28, 29 and May 1,2. 

     The health and safety of the students is very important to the NTC, so they have put in place procedures to maximize the safety of the cast and crew. 

     “I am super excited for the spring musical this year,” said Celena Colcombe. “It’s so great being back with all my friends doing something we love. Though I wish things could be normal I am very excited to see how our filmed/live production will turn out. We have all had to learn how to adapt this year but I’m so grateful Mrs. Schierer, Erin, and Mr. Leighty were still able to find a way for us to have a spring show!”

     For starters, auditions looked different this year. Instead of in-person auditions where the students would sing for the directors and learn a dance to perform for them, things were done in a more virtual setting. First round vocal auditions were done via Google Form. The students had to fill out information, as they do every year, but the last part of the Google Form was a place to upload their vocal audition. First round dance auditions were postponed until the school was safely able to reopen in January, and even then they had  four different call times for dance placement to make sure there was enough room for students to socially distance. 

     “I think it went really well for what we could work with,” said Quinn Kubistek. “It was definitely different and maybe not as authentic as in person auditions, but for what we could do it worked really well.”

     Call backs were done in the same manner. Once they got through first round vocal auditions, the directors made a Google Classroom for the cast members to join, and on there the directors posted the lead callback list. Lead call backs were done virtually as well, the students recorded themselves singing the songs and speaking the monologues, and then turned them in via Google Classroom. Dance call backs were done the same as first round dance placement. There were 4 different call times to leave plenty of room for social distancing, and of course masks were worn. 

     “Virtual callbacks were honestly so nice,” said Giana Williams. “I really enjoyed that it took a level of stress away, and I was able to film until I had the perfect video. It was also very well organized by the directors.”  

    However, not everyone felt as excited.

     “It was a little disappointing to have callbacks done virtually this year because it is usually a super fun day where we can listen to each other sing and act as each character,” said Sarah Hartner. “However, the solution was definitely necessary and a perfect alternative, being that even the school was shut down in December.”

     Once the auctions were done and the cast list came out rehearsals started and things were different. The rehearsals are being conducted under the supervision of the Norwin Athletic Department. Something new this year was the parents of auditioning students had to create a Norwin Theatre Company FamilyID account. Another major change is this year the directors only schedule 2weeks of rehearsals at a time due to the uncertainty of this pandemic. Along with that they are limiting the number of students at each rehearsal to allow for the proper social distancing guidelines to be followed. Before arriving at each rehearsal, the cast members must fill out the daily COVID screening form, along with having their temperature checked at the door when they arrive. 

     “I think they [the COVID precautions] are helping all of us stay safe,” said Stephanie Cairns. “All of the precautions we take are very simple!”

      Even with the challenges of a pandemic, The Norwin Theatre Company has found ways to put on their spring musical, The Little Mermaid, in a safe way.

     “The NTC is keeping students socially distanced and safe during our rehearsals just as any other sport in the high school,” said Aria Lauritzen. “ We are enforcing masks and space between each student when practicing!”