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Summer Theatre Update

Dear OCHS Theatre Students and Family

Hello! I hope your summer has been restful! It’s been awhile since we’ve touched base, and with Auditions a week away I wanted to let you know where things stand with OCHS Theatre.

Before anything else, I’m thrilled to announce our new Technical Director for the 2020-2021 school year is OCHS’s very own Charlie Kagan! Some of you will know Mr. Kagan from the foods room, but it turns out he also has a rich history with crewing theatre as well. So, welcome aboard Mr. Kagan!

Next, I’d like to address the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming school year. The higher-ups at district office along with the school board are working hard and having some very difficult conversations regarding the upcoming year, and unfortunately, those conversations will not be concluded before our auditions/interviews next week. That mean we will need to push on ahead knowing things could change, and while there’s a lot we don’t know about the next few months, here’s a few things we do know:

1. Theatre is not cancelled for the year, but it will likely look different. As things stand, it is not advisable to have large gatherings in a small space, such as our Little Theatre, and that does not seem like it will change anytime soon. That said, thanks to both modern technology and the flexible nature of performance, there are other options that we’re evaluating. It may be that our shows are performed, recorded, and released digitally. It may be that our shows are created like a radio drama and recorded from our homes. It may even be that we will have to change the shows we’re planning on performing. But, we have options, and the theatre staff is investigating and exploring all of them. No matter what, we will have a theatre season while keeping everyone safe.

2. Auditions will be held on schedule, but with new safety procedures Following the school guidelines, as well as safety recommendations released by EdTA (The Educational Theatre Association), we will be holding in-person, socially distanced auditions. Students will be required to wear masks to the auditions, but may remove them briefly while on stage, distanced at least six feet from their scene partner and the audience. Additionally, all application forms will need to be submitted digitally. We will post another letter tomorrow that has the audition guidelines: Please read tomorrow’s letter. Students will need to fill out their audition application online, and students auditioning in person will need to fill out a wellness form signed by their parents before coming. We will have a chromebook onsite that will be sanitized between uses if students forget the application, but we a not allowed to let you in the building without the wellness form signed. Students who wait will also be required to distance from each other, possibly outside weather-depending. If students are unable or uncomfortable coming in person, they will be allowed to submit a digital audition online following the guidelines on our website.

3. We’re going to bust our butt to have a fantastic year in theatre. Change is hard and scary, but there is also an opportunity to try new things. Imagine, ten years from now, bragging to your friends about the crazy cool things you did in theatre, things that you never would’ve had the chance to do otherwise. None of this is ideal, but that doesn’t mean we will give up, or give in. We’re going to have a fantastic year.

Thank you so much for reading all of that. We will update you with more information as soon as it becomes available to us. Thank you for your understanding and patience, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at a.steeves@ocfsd.org. Thank you. Andrew Steeves and the OCHS Theatre Staff

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