The show must go on, even during a global pandemic.
That’s the outlook for Claremont Secondary School students who aren’t letting COVID-19 upstage their annual musical.
The school’s musical theatre class will perform We Will Rock You, a play set in the future and based on the hit songs of Queen, through a live stream for a virtual audience from March 3 to 6.
Students will be masked on stage and technical tools such as multiple cameras, mic’d up singers and added ambient noise pick-up microphones will try to create the best viewing experience possible for the virtual audience.
“Obviously performing to their friends and family is a highlight for anybody who’s doing school theatre, but rather than cancel, we decided to take the old adage that the show must go on,” said Colin Plant, Claremont’s musical theatre teacher.
He added the streamed performance might even give people who would normally miss the live shows a chance to tune in.
The students were reassured back in September that there would be a show, whether it was in front of a small crowd or online.
“Rather than losing this great opportunity, they will embrace going online,” Plant said.
Approximately 65 students from Grades 9 to 12 will make up the performers, crew and orchestra involved in the show.
The school was originally going to do Footloose for this year’s play, but its rights holders haven’t given schools permission to stream that show, Plant said.
They went with another jukebox musical — where a series of songs from an artist are put into a narrative — in We Will Rock You. The story takes place hundreds of years from now in a postmodern world, where a global corporation is trying to control music and rock ‘n’ roll is forbidden.
“The message of the play is one of don’t give up, follow your dreams and following rock ‘n’ roll,” Plant said. “It’s a musical really about discovery of yourself, but there’s no doubt, the songs are what make this musical special.”
The students have grown to love the timeless Queen songs and the 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody helped bring the band back into the spotlight, Plant said. “It is fun to see these young people sing the songs that people of my generation and older were singing.”
The theatre teacher commended the students for being resilient and following COVID-19 restrictions since they started preparing for the show back in September.
“It’s really been wonderful to see our students adapt, support each other and still continue the tradition of performing musical theatre at Claremont,” Plant said. “They are doing so well under such adverse conditions and we are, as teachers, so proud of them.”
The show starts at 7 p.m. each night and tickets will be available soon on the school’s website.