Mrs. Pagett and the Middle School students decided to make the production virtual by creating an audio recording.
The show must go on, and that’s what the Middle School students are doing. Originally the students were planning to perform Peter and the Starcatcher, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, the students had to come up with a new idea.
Mrs. Pagett and a group of Middle School students decided to make the production virtual by creating an audio recording. While the costumes, set design, and facial expressions weren’t going to be crucial to their adapted recording, their voices and tones were centre stage as they reenact the story.
For nearly an hour each Monday, the students rehearsed and recorded scenes. Students practised annunciating, projecting and speaking with colour.
“It’s great we could continue with the Middle School play even if it’s not quite the same,” said Kate Marriette ’26, who plays Smee. “It still feels great to be a part of the play and it's still a huge commitment. Even though things are majorly different, there is still the same fun spirit with every recording session. I love acting and have been in multiple plays so I was super disappointed that Peter and the Starcatcher was going to be cancelled, but it turns out that Mrs.Pagett had a different plan up her sleeve. I was pleasantly surprised that we were going to do a recorded version of the play and I was super happy that we could continue.”
While Kate was sceptical at first about how an audio recording was going to work, she's happy she decided to continue.
“It doesn't matter if it's on the stage at school or through a screen at home, I have had so much fun with the Middle School production,” she said. “I think it's a big commitment but it's worth it. I just know the result is going to be amazing. There is always so much teamwork and perseverance happening at every recording session. We all have to work together through technical difficulties and all the little problems. In the end, it's still so much fun and an amazing experience.”
Julia Roethel ’24 plays the nanny Ms. Bumbrake, and said that while it’s a different experience, she’s been very excited to see it all come together.
“It is different and weird but I am happy that we are doing something with it,” she said. “Yes, I can't wait to see the final product!!! I love Mrs. Pagett, and the cast we are all like a family. It is my last year in Middle School and I wanted to do the play. Acting is my favourite thing to do.”
Not having the opportunity to perform the original play on stage at Denford Hall left some students wondering if they still wanted to participate. Theo Marill ’24 was one of them, but ultimately decided to continue with the audio recording.
“I didn't want to continue, but I realized that if I didn't join it would be just more work for everyone else and for that I committed.”
Theo plays Alf, an older seadog, and notes that having the opportunity to learn about acting for audio-only has taught him a lot.
“You understand how much it takes to act,” he said. “I can hear everybody has much more use of colourization, pause, projection, rate, inflection, articulation and emphasis…I think that when everybody goes back to the regular acting, we will have learned more about good voice acting because every week it seems to get better.”
To help create an audio recording, alumni Carson Rust ‘19 has been helping behind the scenes. He has been tasked with mixing the sounds together and adding sound effects
“I wanted to help out with the Middle School play because it would be a great opportunity to give back to a program that gave so much to me,” explained Carson. “I had the opportunity to stage-manage the last three Middle School plays and gained experience that I used in many university applications. By helping with this year’s play, I can contribute back to a program that helped me get where I am now.”
Good job Middle School, we can’t wait to hear the final product in the summer!