To take necessary safety precautions, the annual fall musical was canceled this year. However, the fine arts are still alive this semester. The three directors of Marian productions, Mr. Michael McCandless, Mrs. Michelle Delisi, and Ms. Lauren Morrissey, knew they needed to give the students some theatre experience. In place of an entire production, the theatre department is holding a series of workshops that started Sept. 15 and run through Oct. 29.
Senior Elaina Carleton was the lead in last year’s spring play, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled when the pandemic hit in March 2020. Carleton had a hard time dealing with the cancellations of both the play and musical, and is ready to get back on the stage. “I think it is important to have these workshops to keep in touch with the arts and remember what we love doing,” Carleton said.
McCandless was ready to get back into the swing of things as well. “We decided, early on, that we needed to do something theatre-related for Marian students in lieu of a full production. The students are always the focus of our efforts and we wanted to provide an outlet for their creative energy,” McCandless said. The directors wanted “to offer a workshop of instruction in the rudiments of acting, singing, and dancing that we ordinarily do not have the luxury of time to do during rehearsals for musicals.”
The attendees have been divided into three groups to rotate between acting, singing, and dancing workshops with the three directors. During the first acting workshop, the group did some breathing exercises and played some improv games to help students with acting on the spot.
At the first dance session, students learned a routine to the song “Mama Mia,” and will learn three more routines, as well as how to sing them in the vocal classes.
The workshops have been helpful and fun for both the directors and students. McCandless is excited for “re-connecting with the students! We missed you!”
Carleton’s favorite session so far has been the acting workshop. “He gives great advice for preparing for auditions and just different ways to think about acting,” Carleton said.
With luck, the fall musical will be moved to spring. For now, Marian students are learning more about how to audition for productions, and become better thespians. Although there cannot be an entire production this semester, the theatre department is excited to continue to grow.