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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Fritz

End of Year Letter

Dear OCHS Theatre,

Hello. I hope you are all staying sane. Although the times we currently live in are stressful, one thing that has been made painfully clear is the value of art and community. All of your directors miss you, but just because we are responsibly distanced does not mean we are not a community. The show does go on, though not always in the way we anticipate.

First the good news. It’s been a fantastic year for OCHS Theatre. Our one-act, The Dining Room, went to state. Our full-length fall show, Almost, Maine was a huge success. Our Winter Musical Fiddler on the Roof sold out every show before we even opened and won seven Jerry awards. And our first ever student-directed one act, The Staggering Heartbreak of Jasmine Merriwether, was successful beyond our wildest hopes, and bodes well for future student-directed pieces at OCHS. Perhaps most importantly, we managed to finish out our main season before school shut down, and did not have to suspend any productions, which was unfortunately not the case for many other schools, including our friends at West Middle School.

As for the future, there were still some events on the calendar that students have emailed me asking questions about, specifically Guerilla Theatre and the End of Year Banquet. Unfortunately, in the interest of public health and safety, both of these events will be cancelled. Even though the governor's shelter-at-home order is set to expire in late May, all indications are that society will be reopened slowly with restrictions remaining in place as to the number of people allowed to gather, and as much as it hurts my heart to say it, it is not responsible to hold these two events.

Even though our two final theatre events are cancelled, that does not quite mean we’re done for the year. Generally, we host the banquet to do four things: induct new members of the International Thespian Society, recognize the achievements of the past year with our thespian awards, vote on the new Theatre Student Officers to represent OCHS Theatre, and announce our season for the next year. We will still be doing all of these things, just in a different way than usual.

First, the induction of new ITS members. ITS awards will be mailed to all graduating seniors at some point in the summer. Awards for current freshmen-juniors will be distributed at our fall meeting in September. The new members will be inducted then as well (it should be noted that these members will still be eligible to apply for a position on the Theatre Board as well).

Starting on Wednesday, May 6th, we will begin voting for our Annual Thespian Awards! These awards are designed to recognize excellence that our students have shown on and off the stage throughout the year. There will be two rounds of voting, the nominations will be open from May 6-10, and final selection will be open from May 12-15.

The next thing we will be doing will be the election of our Theatre Student Officers to the OCHS Theatre Board. As in years past we will be accepting applications and essays. These applications can be found on our website under the Get Involved tab. In addition to the applications, we will also require two teacher recommendations. All applications and recommendations are due May 22nd. Usually, we then vote at the banquet, but this year instead we will be voting online starting the week of May 25th. Each day we will be voting on a different position on the board. A link on how to apply, and directions for voting, can be found here.

As for our next season, we will be announcing that on our brand new website via video on June 10th. So check that out.

That is all. We miss all of you so much, and are thinking of you, our dear theatre family, in this trying time.


Mr. Steeves

Ms. Fritz

Ms. Retzlaff

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