By Ethan Potoczak ’21
The Harlequins, like everyone else, were hit hard in March when the order to shut down schools came from the office of the governor. The set for Mamma Mia, which had taken over three months of effort just to build, had been nearly complete for the opening date. Actor blocking and dance numbers had all been choreographed. The pit had been practicing. Everyone was almost ready to put on an amazing show when the statewide shutdown of schools was put into effect. Everyone was devastated and unsure of what the future held. But thanks to the determination of the director Mr. Hoover, the cast, crew, pit, and the entirety of the Ignatius directors for the Breen Center, COVID did not set us back. Rather, we transitioned Mamma Mia into a summer show. We were able to: remake and move the set into a tent in the Breen parking lot, recoreograph everything, make a COVID safe pit on the breen stage, and have a drive-in theatre production all within a week! COVID did not beat us in March, and we are determined to not let it beat us now.
In case you have not heard the Harlequins have decided to produce two amazing plays for the community; True West, and Crimes of the Heart. True West is about two brothers who are polar opposites coming together to work on a screenplay; they become closer until they become frustrated with each other and the play takes a dramatic turn of events. Crimes of the Heart tells the story of three sisters uniting when the youngest commits a horrendous crime. To find what happens to the brothers and sisters, come see the play this weekend in the Hummer Theater.
The drama department has made the decision to produce two plays this fall so we can get as many people as possible involved in the theatre program while keeping COVID protocols in mind. This allows us to have two different casts and run crews, making sure that we do not go over the suggested number of people permitted in locations such as the dressing rooms, backstage, the shop, and onstage. In many ways we are being treated as varsity athletes, as we are following the same protocols that have been put in place for all extracurriculars.. We avoid sitting in Rade and Senior Longue during peak hours. Everyone who comes in from a different school gets temperature checked immediately. Masks are constantly required to be worn by everyone at all possible times. Despite all of the challenges, we are and will do everything possible to beat the odds. During actual show dates, we will have the audience members in the Breen Center split up by families and socially distant. We hope to see you there!