Simsbury High School's Theatre Department faculty and students are wrapping up production of an original musical called What Just Happened?... Tales from a Pandemic. In April 2020, while the high school was in distance learning, it became clear to all that if a production of a musical was going to happen during the 2020-2021 school year, it could not be in person. In working to figure out how they might proceed, the idea of writing their own musical emerged. Said Director Dr. Stu Younse, "We knew it would be challenging but we were up to the challenge!"
In late May interviews were held for potential students who wished to be considered for the writing team. Ten students and four faculty members were selected to comprise the writing team, which began work in June via Google Meet. They worked throughout the summer and into the fall. In November virtual auditions were held, and rehearsal began with the script and score (or what was written by that time) online. It was not until February 16, 2021, that the first in-person meeting was held, which was the first day of filming.
Students developed the six stories that comprise the musical. They wrote dialogue, lyrics, and some melodies. The faculty advised and helped edit, then helped write the music and forged the final order and editing. Student crew members helped with filming, making props, editing film, and other aspects of the production.
The musical is a look at the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021 through the eyes of high school students. Each storyline details a different experience that students lived through during the pandemic from March 13-July 31, 2020.
Said Dr. Younse, "The musical is heavy in places, as the pandemic has been, but is also hopeful and loving."
The musical is scheduled to be released on Saturday, May 22nd. More information about viewing will be posted on the SHS website as well as on the new Google Site. Visit the Google Site now to meet the cast, production team, writers, and others involved in the making of the film, as well as read a blog and view a note from the director.