Love, hardships and snow, oh my!

Capo’s recent play, Almost, Maine, performed in a new format this year due to restrictions.

Angel Perez, Copy Editor

Almost, Maine. A whimsical romantic comedy where a collection of characters find love or face hardships happening on one snowy night. 

Due to COVID-19, the Drama program had to change some of its usual methods. The Drama program had to practice through Zoom for their first rehearsing month to adjust to this new way of being filmed while performing to stream it eventually. Much of the line rehearsing was done during this time, and it soon transitioned to coming to school to rehearse blocking and queues. The students had to abide by regulations to stay healthy and safe, so they had to come in masked and distant. Due to this play’s physical aspects, like hugging and kissing scenes, they had to improvise to say the character’s actions to keep it a Covid-friendly show. Afterward, they filmed the show on the evenings of Oct. 16 and 17. They then streamed the show live at 7:00 PM on Nov. 5 through 7. 

Grace Meredith, who played the character Sandrine, was the only freshman in the play and wondered how it would be since she is a newcomer to Capo productions. 

“At first, I was a bit nervous since everyone already knew each other and had their inside jokes, and I had looked up to them for years, but they were so welcoming and kind! It was awesome to experience something so unique and different, yet, we got to have that cast experience that everyone loves having in a show,” Meredith explained.

For returners such as senior Walker Nelson and junior Ryan Nichols, who both performed in Chicago and Seussical from years prior, the filming method has had drawbacks.

“The main thing that I was bummed out about when we realized that we had to film it is that we lost the audience. Because there would be these moments where you could hear the crowd react, which is the biggest thing we miss: the reactions, especially with comedy. With this, there is no laughter, so you kind of have to deliver the joke and carry on,” Walker noted.

Even though the filming method had its differences from an actual live show, they still managed to keep it familiar with takeover days, where the actors portrayed their character in a little skit. They also managed to keep a community. 

“A tradition in any play we do, at the beginning of every night, we do a circle of love. Everyone in the cast and crew, if they want to, can say a few words about their experience, how fun it was and how much they love being in the show. It’s a very sentimental moment, and we do this after every show, no matter what,” Nichols stated.

Photo courtesy of Quinn Rizco

Apart from the filming process, the drama program had fundraising at OC Pizza and Jersey Mike’s. The fundraising day for OC Pizza was Nov. 5, and for Jersey Mike’s, it was Nov. 7. The drama teacher, Emily Tucker, oversaw these fundraisers. Sadly, it didn’t go as planned.

“Unfortunately, those did not work out. I’ve talked to my publicity team, and maybe there wasn’t enough publicity. OC Pizza, which was located in San Juan Capistrano, was not in a great location, and a lot of our families live here in Mission Viejo, so there weren’t many orders down there. For Jersey Mike’s, I’m not sure what happened because everyone loves Jersey Mike’s, and it was an all-day fundraiser, but there were only about two orders the whole day. So, unfortunately, we’re still hurting pretty bad for money right now in our department,” Tucker explained. 

The filming and streaming approach was The program’s first time doing something like this, so there can be room for technical difficulties and issues. However, that was not so much the case. 

“I was expecting there to be more technical problems. The company that we used made things pretty easy. I heard that they replied to emails to anybody having problems finding the links. I think the links that they got went to their junk mail, so we just had to remind them,” Tucker described. 

This new format wasn’t easy to adapt due to crucial aspects that make up live performances and transition to a new setup entirely. However, the Drama program had managed to prevail through this and provide entertainment for at-home audiences. They had come together to develop high hopes for future performances.

“I was proud of everyone for making the best of this situation. We’re also lucky that we could do it since other school districts aren’t open in-person, or they have chosen to do Zoom performances instead of a live performance that was filmed. I’m proud of my students for stepping up to the plate and doing that,” Tucker concluded.

Photo courtesy of Quinn Rizco