The show must go on

Utica theater department rehearses for their upcoming play through the struggle of Covid restrictions


Douglas Gettleson & Julie Syler going over lines for the upcoming play, ‘Crafting a Killer”

Oliver Gamez, Editor

Unable to finish and perform their show last school year, the Utica High theater department is currently working on the production of their first show of the 2020-2021 school year.

When the theatre department began working on the play in the fall, it was coined to be titled “Crafting a Killer” and it follows a government entity hiring people to perform their dirty work. 

Some may be wary of students being socially distanced enough for the performance and rehearsal to be deemed safe, but all involved assure that principal Tom Lietz approved the club to be in action.

“Rehearsal is socially distanced with masks on at all times to ensure safety, but we still get the benefits of interacting with each other and keeping the department alive,” senior Caroline McDade said.

Students are temperature checked as they walk in and are asked to fill out a self-screening questionnaire daily.

“Rehearsal is distanced as much as we can be, fortunately the Auditorium is a very large space,” senior and assistant director Maria Chesnutt said.

Production on the upcoming show began in the fall when all students were remote, but practice remained consistent through video calls until student return allowed for in-person rehearsals.

“I would like people to know that despite the postponements of returning to school and extracurricular activities,” Chesnutt said, “we did zoom rehearsals until we could return to school and host in-person rehearsal safely. It’s been a hard emotion-filled journey, but it is all worth it.”

Though there will not be a live audience due to the school’s Covid-19 safety restrictions, it will rather be filmed instead. 

“We hope to offer the DVD or a recorded download of the show for English teachers to show in their classrooms after the editing is done,” theater department head Joel Kaczmarczyk said.

The production being played to students in English classes would only take half a period, as unlike previous years, “Crafting a Killer” is only one act and would last about 45 minutes.

“I am the most excited to watch this show in its whole without stopping as we go,” Chesnutt said. “As a director there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the hard work you and everyone else in the cast has done come to life on stage.”

The students working on the production of the play are all very excited to finally perform again, but with the end of the school year approaching, so are the senior thespians times on the stage.

“Last year when we got sent home, I thought we were never coming back,” Chesnutt said, “and as a Junior in my first lead role, I was crushed, but now here I am directing a show, kind of mind-blowing, right? I am so happy to be on this stage in the last few months of my time here at Utica, but no doubt I will be sobbing when I have to leave, that Auditorium and stage is my home.”

All involved with the making of ‘Crafting a Killer’ are extremely excited to see the end product and show the rest of the school the finished play sometime this April.