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The Show Must Go On (Zoom): Mt Blue’s fall production of ‘Stranded: Views from Quarantine’

The Mt. Blue Theater has adapted over the past year, due to the impact of COVID-19. Last year's annual banquet was held via Zoom.

FARMINGTON - After cancelling their show last spring, postponing it to this fall, and eventually having to choose a new production to fit the restrictions of the current environment, Mt. Blue High School's theater program has chosen a play to perform in November that is truly fit for the times.

Stranded: Views from Quarantine is a play that was written by several different authors from the company Stage Partners, specifically for students to perform virtually. It is a collection of ten monologues, allowing Mt. Blue Theater Director of 30 years Deborah Muise, to rehearse with the 10 student cast members individually over Zoom. It follows the stories of 10 different people who have been quarantined on a cruise ship during the pandemic.

The play will not be performed in a traditional auditorium setting but instead will be filmed and then broadcasted on Mt. Blue Theater’s website as well as posted on YouTube for anyone to watch. Though there is not set release date yet, they plan on filming the students in the first week of November and plan on having it edited and posted by the end of the month.

Though producing a play in these times has proved to demand a lot from students and staff, both Muise and current Mt. Blue senior and cast member, Rachel Spear, believe that making the arts a priority was not optional this year.

"It was less of a challenge than you might think, because we all just wanted it so much. We wanted to be together no matter how it had to be. There was never a question of if we would do anything, but of how much we could do," said Muise. She also noted that the inherently improvisational quality of theater itself has helped students and staff to simply keep adapting with the many changes they’ve had to make this year.

As a current senior, Spear spoke to the solutions she and her fellow classmates have had to come to in making this year the best that they can.

“You already have a lot of anticipations coming into your senior year, but with everything that’s happened, you have to put yourself in a new mindset. I miss rehearsing with everyone, but we’re still a theater family. We’re all still going through the same motions, just at different times,” said Spear.

The two also spoke to the benefits that this opportunity has lent them. Muise, for one, claimed that the addition of Zoom to the theater world has actually helped it. It’s become a tool that can be used to connect students and staff to rehearse at any time of the day.

Spear hopes to study theater in college, and the self-discipline that she has developed this year in particular will help her down the road in her chosen career.

The show is also starring:
Charlie Eng
Meadow Kerbo
Taegan Heath
Trevor Sennick
Megan O'Donnell
LaCroix Nichols
Calvin Beale
Maya Smith
Izzy Webster
Rachel Spear

Some of the students involved in the technical side of the production include:
Finnegan Zimmerschied
Zander Larriviere

The website to view the link to the show in November is located here.

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