All the world’s a stage-even your living room

Monet+Carson%2C+the+%22casting+director%22+in+this+year%27s+fall+play%2C+%22Bad+Auditions...On+Camera%22+deals+with+a+collection+of+misfits+looking+for+a+part+in+her+courtroom+drama.

Monet Carson, the “casting director” in this year’s fall play, “Bad Auditions…On Camera” deals with a collection of misfits looking for a part in her courtroom drama.

Krystal Kelly

Hazelwood Central’s theater department produced their Fall play, titled “Bad Auditions…On-Camera” streamed virtually on the Twitch streaming site on at 7:00 on October 15th, 16th, and 17th.

The play was about a cast director who was in immediate search of an actor to fill in the role of a lawyer in a crime procedural, but this simple task proves impossible when pools of actors won’t tone down for the screen, performers are unable to manage self-control and actors seem to believe it’s some sort of toothpaste commercial. This led it to turn into a hilariously problematic audition.    

Over the summer, Ms. Krenning and the other theater teachers decided that they could still put on a fall play, despite school being virtual.

“During the Summer our teacher production team (Ms. Rinesmith, Mr.Stroot, Mrs. Jackson, and I) start discussing the talent that we have in our troupe currently and what shows would best showcase their talent, then we choose stories that are relevant to our audiences,” explained Krenning.

There were a couple of reasons why Krenning felt the play was a good fit to this year’s unusual circumstances.

“Everyone is talking about Covid, and we should, it’s a big issue. I just thought since that topic has been discussed and it is what our lives currently revolve around we should do something light-hearted…I am apprehensive of taking something and trying to make it work for a different format. So this play was written for the purpose of being performed on Zoom. And this is what makes the play functional. If we were to try to make a play that was staged to be performed in person and make it virtual, we would lose a lot of important information,” stated Krenning. 

The crew decided to advertise the play in a number of ways because they weren’t able to do traditional things like fliers.

“In Crew, we have a crew called publicity and basically what they do is they promote it and we are making a promo video for it so that would be displayed all across social media as well as like the cast posting flyers about it on our social media and basically like just telling the people to come see the show, we also use word of mouse and the district website,” explained Gabrielle Ray.

“We also have an Instagram account…the account includes advertisers, a cast list, and us cast members acting together,” stated Jaden Southern.

“Our Instagram account is all lowercase h-c-h-s underscore s-w-t” said Gabrielle Ray.

Opinions and feelings on virtual plays can really play apart to how the students respond. It can default on the whole purpose of embracing and “being the character”. 

There could be both Pros and Cons to do virtual acting virtually instead of in-person. Acting in person and Acting virtually may not seem like they differ too much, but they both hold some good and bad qualities. 

“AS far as performing virtually, we miss the immediate audience interaction, we miss seeing our cast mates and the chemistry you make on stage but I will say the play was accessible. Can easily promote it because we already had videos. If you have relatives that live far away they still was able to tune into the show. We all would prefer to be in person but we can have fun no matter the situation,” explained Krenning.

In-person acting has a sparked quality of being able to have an immediate interaction with your audience and with your cast members, versus having to be in complete silence while acting, which could bring upon awkwardness since they aren’t used to complete silence. 

“Yes, I personally can speak for myself and say I prefer In-person. In-person is what we are use to…we miss the immediate audience response, on virtual we hear nothing, so its not as — you know.. Fun I guess. I miss bonding with my theatre family, its very different to perform over virtual because you don’t get to have that interaction,” stated Southern.

According to the cast, it’s important to them that they have both interactions and connections with both the audience and one another.  In this particular play, they had the audience vote through a poll on who they preferred to win the part. Despite that added feature, some performers prefer a traditional approach.

“I prefer In-person as well for the same reasons, because of audience participation and actually being in-person and interacting with the cast members,” stated Ray.