The power of theatre, Seth Travaglino always tells his drama students, is that it can change lives.
Messages of tolerance, kindness, freedom, understanding and persistence shine through many plays and musicals. And sometimes, the message that comes through the strongest is that we need more laughter in our lives.
Corbett Prep's Middle School Thespians delivered those laughs in The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, the school's first on-campus theatre experiencesince the pandemic began.
Travaglino, the troupe director, wanted his students to have the opportunity to perform live in front of audiences after statewide school closures canceled the spring musical. And a "big, stupid comedy" seemed like a great antidote to the stress of 2020.
"Joy and fun is what everyone needs right now," Travaglino said.
The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon turns the 209 fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm on their heads in a fast-paced, rollicking comedy. Corbett Prep's Thespian Troupe 88622 performed for the Middle School as well as before in-person and virtual audiences Oct. 22-24. The show is the troupe's submission to the Junior Thespian One-Act Play Festival.
Producing the show required extensive planning and safety modifications. The shows took place outside on the Middle School field. The actors spread out on stage to allow for social distancing and wore masks unless they were speaking. Clear barriers the Corbett Prep facilities team built gave additional protection for students on stage.Seating arrangements were based on the layout Corbett Prep used for eighth-grade graduation in May. Families could purchase a "box" on the field with up to 4 seats inside. Boxes are 8 feet long and 6 feet away from other family boxes. Audience members who preferred to watch from home purchased virtual tickets for access to a live viewing of the Friday or Saturday performances.