"A Midsummer Night's Dream" Goes Virtual!

May 24, 2021

The 7th and 8th graders traditionally perform Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Founders Theater.  But this year, the challenge was to rehearse and perform the play with many of the students stuck at home.  Music Director David Demand did an amazing job, working with Microsoft Teams, to gather, edit, and integrate audio and video from students' homes and the theater stage into this unique performance!  See the Full Performance on YouTube (running time 72 minutes) beginning with each character's introduction.

Here's how David described the "interesting learning experience" of making this movie:  

"First of all, we had students both distance learning and in person.  This changed almost on a daily basis due to COVID and protocols.  Because of this, sometimes we had to put everyone on their own computers to make the scene work or we had to skip a scene and go to the next one that had cast members available.  We also had to endure the many network difficulties and outages that occurred as well as people freezing up, forcing us to reshoot multiple times.  The stage was also a challenge.  There were other classes that met in the theater, and there was a permanent work station set up in the front of the stage.  The instrumental group also used the back of the stage, so we had to use only a side stage shot and cover up the equipment in the back.  Jean Hardie (our director) was also remote and we had to hook her voice up into a monitor so that she could give directions to the kids on stage.  We put a camera out in front so that she could see.  All costumes had to be brought from home for the most part due to Covid, so we used bedsheets and made togas.  

"Once we got through filming, which took a while due to the kids not being able to be together, we had to edit extensively, adding voice overs in some cases due to the bad audio quality of Microsoft teams.  Oliver Ling help me quite a bit.  I also added in effects, music, and transitions from scene to scene.  I hope everyone can appreciate the effort."