The Show Must Go On


Students rehearse for the fall play on Zoom with Catherine Hopkins, theater teacher.

It’s not unusual for Catherine Hopkins, theater teacher, to switch gears quickly.

Last year, without warning, she had to change the spring musical from “Newsies” to “Rent.’

Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hopkins changed the fall play from “The Three Musketeers” to “Almost Maine.”

The change came about because her original plan was too elaborate of a production for the current times.

“The fall show I had been planning was ‘The Three Musketeers,’ which would’ve been so much fun, but not possible,” Hopkins said.”I was really happy when I found ‘Almost Maine’ because it’s kind of in vignettes. The overall theme is about love and loss, but mostly loss of love not loss of person…in terms of death.” 

With the restrictions of social distancing this year, Hopkins believes “Almost Maine” is the perfect fit, because it’s centered around getting back up after hard times and staying optimistic in tough situations. 

“It’s a very hopeful show, it’s very sweet,” Hopkins said. “There’s a lot of laughter in the show, so I just felt like we needed that lift to feel good about theater.” 

Students have been rehearsing via Zoom, however they’ve received permission to hold three socially-distanced, in-person rehearsals to further prepare themselves for their virtual performance. These rehearsals are on Oct. 10 and 18, and Oct. 24 for the technical theater rehearsal. Later that evening, they will be recording their performance to keep it on record, since the copyright doesn’t allow the recording to be showcased. 

“Mr. Peoples gave us permission to have three very short in-person rehearsals, with two actors at a time, just working on stage very simply,” Hopkins said. “So there’s a time limit, there’s no situation [where] everyone’s hanging around and having a good time, sadly.”

Actors feel that the Zoom practices are very helpful, and can provide a source of social interaction while developing their theater skills for the play, according to Beckett Wilke.

“During Zoom Club—I mean Theater Club, of course—we all just talk, we have fun interacting, and then people get their scenes done, everybody goes to a breakout room to rehearse their scenes,” said Wilke.

Hopkins explained that students will live stream a performance of the play on Oct. 30. In order to experience the play, tickets must be bought online.

“We’re doing something crazy–we’re going through a virtual platform called Booktix, which is a virtual theater platform that does all the ticketing,” Hopkins said. “[We’re] livestreaming on the 30th and somehow in the magic of the world it will come out of people’s television screens.”

In addition to having limited time for preparation, the cost of the video camera and payment to use the platform will add up to a budget much more than desired.

“I have to pay like $200 worth of rights, plus video camera, plus it’s gonna cost us like $1000 just to put it on the air,” Hopkins said. “And if it doesn’t work, we’re kind of left with ashes in a pile. But the cool thing is that we would have filmed it.”

Regardless of the pressure and challenges the cast and crew are facing, their hope continues to outshine the pressure.

“We’ve been able to pull off a zoom performance before, and we even have recorded it online,” Wilke said. “There were no problems with that, but so far I think we’re doing a good job because most of theater comes from reading your scripts on your own.”

Although Hopkins doesn’t enjoy the idea of being virtual for a moment longer, she’s come to the conclusion that this is reality, and she’ll make her best effort to put on a show.

“We don’t know what the world is going to have ready for us in a year, but hopefully we’ll be in good shape,” Hopkins said. “The students are rallying…and there’s just a lot of hope, I just feel it.”


Tickets can be purchased at for $20 for a family pass.