OK...maybe it's not too early to think about contingency plans...but it probably is.
Updated: Mar 24
I'm sure for those drama kids who, like me, obsess just a little bit about the show we are working on, not having an opening date set in stone is pretty distressing. Maybe this will give a little comfort, maybe not. But, in any case, here are some thoughts about how to proceed with current show, competition etc.
UPDATE 3/24/19. With the Governor and State Superintendent's announcement extending all school closures to at least, May 1. Option 1 is now no longer an option.
IF At the governor's 2 week re-evaluate mark classes and rehearsals are declared safe...
THEN we proceed with Cinderella as planned, mostly. Rehearsals will need to go a little later in the evening, especially for leads...5:30 - 6pm. We will need to mobilize more volunteers to get the show prepared. Some sets and costumes will be simplified so they can be done in time. We will need to be generous with sharing the space so that Dance Company and Music concerts can fit into the rehearsal schedule as well.
Hopefully, a new region date or online format or a universally approving all pieces for State would happen at that point. We may even have enough time to schedule a showcase for the pieces.
I fluctuate on how likely I think this is. It really depends on which news source I'm watching at the moment. But, I do believe this is the least likely possibility. However, if it is a possibility, and the best one if it happens. So, we need to be ready to do it if the opportunity comes up.
IF after 4-6 weeks classes and rehearsals are declared safe...
THEN we work together with all the departments in the school to reschedule performances in May. We will still need to simplify and prepare as efficiently as possible. Every performing group will want stage time, every class will want students to be able to prepare for AP and end of year testing. We may have to compromise with other departments in the building and opt for fewer performances, etc. Choir and band tour may go on as planned or Disneyland may be closed. If choir and band tour is cancelled, that will be sad but will also open up a few more dates for possible performances.
Students will want to do it all and get stressed out. So, we will need to have students really consider what they will want to do with the precious remaining weeks of school, and may be asked to make tough choices. If a few students choose to not do the play so that they are more likely to succeed at their other classes, hopefully their doubles will fill the roles. Hopefully there will be enough ensemble left to perform the production numbers etc. If too may cast member feel that the stress of the show is going to be too much combined with all the other panicking we will be doing at this point to prepare for the end of the year, we could also be looking at options below.
Region competition may be rescheduled. But it might not be, or it may be too close to CInderella for us to participate fully. In this case, we may still have time just to put together a showcase for competition pieces. Probably one or the other.
IF quarantine lasts for 7-9 weeks, we need to make even more hard choices.
THEN I think it would be good to have a competition showcase since probably by then, region and state would both be cancelled.
At this point, the best chance of having Cinderella occur would be the week or two following graduation. This would still allow our seniors to perform in one last role. It is fraught with problems, however. I would only be available to do this if we were able to sell our home and move during the quarantine. Also it would depend on how the quarantine affected our travel plans. Also, it will Disneyland is open by then. Sorry, we bought our tickets already and my family is still the most important factor for me in this decision. I'm sure many students will be well into summer plans and we have to re-evaluate the cast availability again. And, it may be difficult to get administration approval for these dates. So, at 7-9 weeks we could also be looking at some of the same plans as the 10-12 week closure below.
IF quarantine lasts 10-12 weeks or beyond,
THEN school is effectively cancelled for the rest of the year.
Competition or a competition showcase is not even a possibility. There are however, several possible plans for Cinderella, each of them with pros and cons:
PLAN A: Perform Cinderella early in the next school year, possibly before labor day. If the quarantine is lifted midsummer, we could rehearse in August and perform right at the beginning of the year. The main "pro" for this plans is so those seniors who, will by then be alumni, will get to perform that one last role. Also, all the resources we've put into the show, costumes, royalties etc. Will still be used. Of course for cons, some alumni will be out of town for college or just want to focus fully on college and some alumni and current students will have completely lost interest by then.
PLAN B: Perform Cinderella in our typical fall musical time slot the first or second weekend of November. Pros: All resources, royalties and hype can still be utilized. All Frehsmen, Sophomores and Juniors this year who will be Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors can still participate in their same roles. And cast and orchestra might be absolutely amazing by then. It will definitely give us a chance to make this show EXTRA polished with a fairly light weight rehearsal schedule in the fall. Cons: At that point, alumni will not be part of the show. We will have to re-cast some of the leads and some of the ensemble roles as well. We will need to hold more auditions for freshmen and those who might have interest and/or time in the fall that they did not have in the previous spring. Will we be just tired of the show by then? I'm pretty sure we would lose a few by then.
PLAN C: Cancel Cinderella entirely. As you can see, this is the last option for the longest predicted quarantine period. I hate not finishing what we start. However, pros are, we cut our losses and start fresh. This will be positive for those who don't want to spend 8 months of their lives thinking about the same show. Cons, wasted energy and resources. We may lose the money we paid for royalties. Hopefully not. I think the licensing companies will be understanding. After all, Broadway is closed right now. But, this particular licensing company has not been very organized this year. Could be hard to have our money refunded. There are some costumes and scenery that can easily be re-purposed for another show. Some that are very specific to this show.
So, there you go. It is likely that we will follow some variation of one of the plans above. I was hesitant to go through all of this, because I didn't want to have students really excited about a plan that may or may not be workable. The end of the quarantine is only the first factor in making these choices. There are so many working parts in this tiny city we call a high school, so many programs to consider. It's also important that we have the administration's approval in whatever we do. And the final decision becomes dependent on a complicated network of individual decisions about the whole school schedule right down to the individual commitments, conflicts and attitudes of each person involved.
Please feel free to let me know if you have a preference among the plans or other ideas. See you on CANVAS!