Every production contains two stories: the story being told in the play, and the story of how the production came together. Typically that second, secret story remains important only to the participants. But it's almost impossible to watch this digital production without imagining the group of 40 teenagers and a handful of mad-brained adults clawing our way through 21st century technology to follow the ancient impulse to tell a story. While editing, I left in a few such moments--you'll see the tell-tale lean to turn off the camera, the slump of relaxation after a line is delivered, the jitters before filming a dance. In a lengthy life in theatre, I could never have imagined creating a show with a cast who have never all shared the same physical space. But this is Now, and here we are, doing this.
This was no easy task. Closets transformed into remote recording studios, parents, siblings, and friends became camera operators and location scouts. Hundreds of audio and video files zipped instantly across the state, country and globe. We tried quixotically to cram 2 hours of rehearsal material into a 55 minute time slot. We did our best to remain perfectly physically distant and sometimes failed, because our hearts kept drawing us together like magnets.
Fittingly, this musical is about the struggle to remain present, aware, and awake to the possibilities of this world. It's a story for all of us struggling in the pandemic. It's our hope that the stories we are about to tell will offer you some laughter, comfort, connection, and joy.
Dedicated with love to the Masters community and our friends and family everywhere.