• Romi Fernandez Riviello

The online musical that we've all been anticipating

Those who have sung happy birthday to a classmate in a zoom room know that the acoustics of the “zoom theater” are not the most flattering to listen to. Performance in the keck auditorium is not an option during this remote learning period Stevenson students are facing. The yearly musical will now be a music(al) video.

“The musical is a musical review, a collection of songs that tell the story of this past year. It has themes of loneliness and sadness of course, but the biggest theme is hope, and each song points toward that feeling of persevering,” explained Senior Andrew Mansour. “Not the classical musical that we’re used to,” added Senior Kyla Cotton.

This year’s unique format has allowed students to express their viewpoints on this challenging year. Senior Brandon Onitsuka commented, “Through collaboration between Ms. Manspeaker, Mrs. Schmittgens, and us students, we have curated a list of songs that we believe speak to our shared experiences throughout this past year. We are working together to create a story that weaves all these different musical theatre songs together to create a cohesive show for everyone to enjoy and reflect on what this past year has meant for all of us.”

The transformation to online musical did not affect students’ enthusiasm to participate. In fact, many performers shared an opinion that the space and community provided by the musical offered a sense of normality. “I thought it is important that I join again this year to not only maintain some sense of normalcy for myself but also to be around the people that I have gotten to know well over the past few years,” remarked Onitsuka. Cotton echoed this idea, “This approach gives the cast a sense of control at this moment in time that has taken it completely out of our hands.”

The approach is fitting to our remote era, allowing for students to participate no matter where they are. “There are soloists and small groups that each have a song to sing, and each song is accompanied by a blurb of some sort that kind of prefaces the song and what message it wants to convey,” described Mansour.

Self-expression through the themes and music remain a component. “Through this musical review, we are able to craft a narrative that encompasses the depth of the feelings that we’ve experienced in this difficult time. It allows us an outlet to talk about the things that are immediately around us, but not talked about too often,” said Cotton.

Through the wonderful performances of our fellow pirates, this musical will encapsulate the crazy year we’ve all experienced. It will help us all to “look back on the year we have had with a positive eye,” as Mansour best describes it.


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