Theater department perseveres with new methods of auditions and rehearsals for the fall play


Mishal Nizar

Metea’s theater program continues to push through the challenges that come with virtual performance.

Cache Merriweather

Given the amount of uncertainty this school year has brought, many students’ thoughts and worries are not directed towards the theater department. Although the current circumstances have changed the way clubs and activities are run, the theater department has worked around the new setbacks by creating an efficient audition and rehearsal process for the upcoming fall play: “War of the Worlds”.

“War of the Worlds” will be Metea’s first virtual/radio play in which the audience will be able to watch and listen to over Zoom. Radio plays heavily rely on voice and facial expressions rather than body movements and language. They can be live; however, in this situation, the show has been filmed beforehand.

The audition process regarding the school plays and musicals have always been a nerve-wracking yet exciting time for those interested in theater. The auditionees are given cold reads that they perform with another actor. It usually lasts a few days, which can create a stressful period of waiting for results. This year, the procedure was drastically different.

“The whole audition process was all online. We had to submit an audition video over Flipgrid [a video sharing site teachers sometimes use for students to submit assignments], performing a scene from the play, and then the callbacks were live over Zoom,” senior Robyn Haddad said.

There were both benefits and disadvantages to this new method. The ability to work and collaborate with others during the cold read can be beneficial as the auditionees have someone to bounce ideas off of, but it can also be difficult to do this two people interpret the script differently.

“For me, this change had both pros and cons, as I was given a few days to prepare my audition material so I was a lot more comfortable with the piece,” sophomore Zainab Shaikh said. “However, in our normal auditions, we usually get to audition with other people, and it teaches you how to act and interact with other actors on the fly.”

After callbacks and audition results, those who got parts in the fall play began rehearsal fairly quickly. Rehearsals are the most important process in the creation of a theatrical production because practice makes perfect.

“Every role- there is a total of 12- has 1 to 3 rehearsal days and one filming day with the directors, Mr. Wolski and Mr. Sturn,” said senior Sara Jordan.

The rehearsals are done to focus on one role before starting the filming process. There is not a lot of communication between the actors, as everything has been done from a distance. The play is more film heavy than stage heavy this year for obvious reasons.

“I’ve been in most of the productions at Metea since my freshman year, and the directors are approaching the play more like a film than a staged production. It’s mostly individual and on-camera work, which I’ve never experienced before in my four years of acting at Metea,” senior Robyn Haddad said.

There have been a few problems regarding rehearsals being done online just like any other class during online learning. Although this is the case, the theater team continues to try to work through them.

“Zoom and internet issues are very common and due to that, we do get a few hiccups of being kicked out of rehearsals by accident, or the audio cutting out and little bits of miscommunication,” sophomore Zainab Shaik said. “But we still persevered and worked through these hiccups to give you the best show we possibly can.”

War of the Worlds is planned to be ready to watch in the upcoming months. Both the directors and actors have quickly adapted to the situation this year in order to create a show that Metea can enjoy in a difficult time. This production has had a lot of time and effort put into it to make sure that the students and parents of Metea can be entertained by another play from the theater department this year.