The COVID-19 pandemic caused yet another postponement. Currently, Winnacunnet’s spring musical performance of “Mamma Mia!” takes the stage on May 21, 22 and 23 rather than the originally scheduled dates in March.
Choral teacher Patrick Moore said the hope is that the later dates will allow for an in-person audience of some size. He added that performing the show virtually isn’t an option, unlike last year’s show of “Seussical the Musical,” because streaming rights are not offered for this year’s musical.
Moore said funding for the show partially relied on donations received in the fall.
“Although the show [the fall play] has been viewed online hundreds of times, we only received 28 donations, totaling about $1500,” Moore said. “We will have to consider other sources for money, and cut back on costuming and lighting.”
Even with the postponement of the spring musical, funding has still presented as a problem.
“Fundraising is very difficult right now, and most fundraising activities aren't allowed by the administration at the current time,” Moore said. “We are hoping that we can find funding from some of the COVID-19 assistance to education coming from the state and federal levels.”
Senior Abbie Bitomske said the postponement of the musical was disheartening at first, since the last few months have been her longest time without being in a production.
“But then I realized that postponing the musical will genuinely give us the best shot at a ‘normal’ show,” Bitomske said. “One with multiple runs over the course of the weekend, with a live audience, the pit band… like we’re accustomed to, and for that reason I was more than willing to wait.”
Senior Madison Gakopoulos and Sophomore Allie Hoffmeier echoed Bitomske’s thoughts on the postponement.
“I prefer it this way. The combination of a musical and warm weather will be a great mood-booster,” Hoffmeier said. “Longer days with more daylight time should make us feel less tired and potentially provide an opportunity to hold rehearsals outside, which would be beneficial for further social distancing and increased air flow.
In terms of social distancing during rehearsals, Moore said actors will be masked and at least ten feet apart when rehearsing in the auditorium and chorus room.
“We are hoping that by April and May, health regulations will be more sensible and equitable with what athletic departments are allowing,” Moore said.
He added that actors will potentially be singing with a clear mask during the show. The pit orchestra will be distanced from the actors by being placed off-stage rather than in the pit.
Rehearsals start on March 16 after virtual auditions conclude March 11. Moore said he had received around 15 virtual auditions.