On Sunday November 8th at 9:30 pm governor Herbert made a mandate stating that masks must be worn, and all extracurricular activities except for playoff games and championships are canceled for the next two weeks and we have been told to stay at home. This has caused the musical Anastasia to be postponed as well causing serious worry and causing many to ask if the mandate is fair or not.
“The musical is currently postponed indefinitely, although we hope to open this December or January depending on conditions.” – Michael Wright, the theatre teacher and director here at Davis High.
The musical being postponed poses a huge challenge as opening night would have been this Friday and would have ran until next Saturday, all of this falls within the two week mandate period meaning that the tickets that have been already sold have to be somehow refunded or transferred to a new date.
Not only that but the dress rehearsals that are critical to the show are temporarily called off and the equipment that is being rented out for the duration of the show may not be available at another time, this causes serious worry about the show going on at all.
The worry is that another Into the Woods situation would happen, this spring the musical into the woods was canceled on the final dress rehearsal because of COVID, originally it was planned to be postponed for two weeks but weeks stretched into months and it was eventually canceled altogether despite all the funds that would be lost by not being able to sell tickets.
There is concern that this will also happen to Anastasia, thousands of hours by hundreds of people have gone into putting this show together, and yet at the drop of a hat we have been called to cancel the show.
However, at the same time the football playoffs and championship games are still allowed to go on, and school continues at full capacity and even had a gathering of over 300 people in the auditorium during school for info on caps and gowns.
The seating capacity is 300 individuals per show not including the cast, crew, or orchestra. Capacity is usually around 1500 and so it has been already reduced to 20%. It has been planned to make sure that social distancing procedures are followed and the risk to spread COVID is greatly reduced.
And yet despite the countless safety measures that have been put into place for the musical, is it not enough to keep it open? Masks are worn during all practices and sanitation is frequent. Opening a show is almost an equivalent to playoffs for football. Many upset students and parents are asking: why does football get this special treatment and yet the musical and other extracurriculars are shut down?
Many students are understandably dismayed at this and upset that despite all of the hard work and hours of practice, planning, building and advertising that might go to waste.
Anastasia at Davis High would be the first performance of the show in the entire state, not even professional theatres have given a shot at it yet and it is equipped with a full pit orchestra. We hope that people stay safe so that we may resume the musical after this temporary postponement and we encourage others to remain safe and supportive of the arts so that we may resume and be able to put on this show that means so much to so many.
The show also brings hope that theatre can continue after this pandemic and that the arts are not just an afterthought when sports have finished. The arts are worth it, to fight for and to work so that we can bring hope and entertainment into peoples lives during this difficult time.
The greatest hope is that the musical can resume soon and be able to show what the actors, crew, and orchestra have worked on since the start of school and perform an amazing show despite all the cancelations of musicals all over the state.
With this in mind it, is hoped that the mask mandate will be followed and that we may lower cases to a point where reopening and performing the show would be a viable and safe option.