In middle school and high school, there are a variety of popular clubs that students can engage in. One of the most desired choices includes theatre. Theatre involves singing, dancing, and engaging with many others. However, due to the current pandemic, theatre club leaders have brainstormed ideas to help students both in-person and online work together. In Cerro Villa Middle School, the performance of the year will be “The Newsies”, a musical that is loosely based on the newsboys of 1899.
When asked about the show, the theater club leader, Ms.Geminiani replied, “The music for this year is Newsies, which is set in 1899, and is about teenage newsboys who go on a strike for equality.” As a teacher and the leader for the theatre club, she explained that hybrid learning is definitely a challenge. Ms.Geminiani stated, “With theatre, it has been challenging because it is a club that is better in person. I had to be creative so kids online and in-person can work together.” Ms. Geminiani also explained that the show will be presented to the audience differently this year, due to Covid safety guidelines. She stated, “We are going to have a live show where only the performers are able to bring 2 guests, and for the other audience we will stream the show.”
While many things have changed, some have also stayed the same. Ms. Geminiani stated, “The kids have to stay apart, so I can’t do any scenes where they are touching. We wear masks and have hybrid rehearsals. We will be doing the show outdoors, but we will still sing and dance, just behind a mask.”
Eighth-grade students from last year, (now high school students) are coming back to perform this show. Originally, the theater club was planning on performing “The Newsies’‘ last year; however, things did not work out due to the coronavirus. It is because of this, that the high school students that could not perform last year have returned to help.
Sophia Cortines, a 7th-grade student at Cerro Villa Middle School and current member of Sandra Geminiani’s theatre club, describes what the audience will expect. She stated, “[Expect] Lots of singing, dancing, emotion, and amazing talent from everyone. I’ve been able to learn lots of dance choreography and lots of singing and acting, which is great because those are my passions. I am happy that my family members can see me being involved in my passions because I can show that I can be successful. I didn’t think I could get the leading role.”
As displayed, students and staff in Cerro Villa are trying their best to make “The Newsies” musical a great experience for both the audience and performers. The show will be held on the 14th of May, and the theatre club will work hard until then.