CSUSB’s 2020 Spring musical “Once Upon A Mattress” is in a state of limbo on whether or not the live performance will take place on campus.
The hard-working cast and crew of the musical are pressing on forward given the current pandemic crisis. They hope to perform an actual live show during the Fall semester 2020, with a hint of the possibility of a cancellation again.
Thomas Provenzano, the director of the spring musical, said, “We are open to many ideas — but nothing is certain.” There is discussion about how and what can be done concerning the presentation of the musical given the unknown nature of the pandemic timeline.
Approximately a year of planning has gone into the musical prior the to the pandemic, and cast and crew are adamant to go on. They have been running through rehearsals via Zoom anywhere from 10 to 12 hours a week at the least. Assistant director John Perez said, “It’s fun to see us all adapting to the situation.”
Some of the difficulties produced by having Zoom rehearsals are: no physical face-to-face connection, no costume changes, no sound bits and no duets or ensemble singing. Provenzano said, “Everything is a challenge. Theatre is all about collaboration and personal relationships.”
The arduous process has only driven the cast and crew to work harder. Lead actress Molly Keightley said, “I’m happy that it is getting done, but overall face-to-face (rehearsals) are better.”
Keightley said that this difficult season in her educational journey has brought her joy, joy in the expressed faithfulness and dedication of the cast and crew by their continuance of this uncharted territory of Zoom session rehearsals. Keighley said that her anticipated “light at the end of the tunnel” is a completed final product of the musical ready to be performed on stage.
Perez said, “it is a very stressful experience” for many.
Their continued teamwork, dedication and purpose-driven focus have allowed them to rough through much of what would have been considered impossible prior to this pandemic.
The teamwork of the cast and crew in the virtual theater rehearsal have formed a new virtual energy. Though it is not the same as a live rehearsal, there is a synergy performed by them online.
The cast and crew’s continued dedication to this musical has developed character in each of the participants as they go through these hardships that have never been experienced before and has shown their performing adaptability to the situation at hand. Provenzano commented that, “Regardless of frustrations, this is a fascinating experience.”