Not to be deterred by the inability to perform on stage for a live audience, this fall Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s high school drama group, Players, will be performing and …
Not to be deterred by the inability to perform on stage for a live audience, this fall Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s high school drama group, Players, will be performing and live-streaming the one-act comedy “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned from Being a Zombie,” by Jason Pizzarello on Halloween Weekend, October 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. The show is available through Broadway on Demand to watch from the comforts of home.
All rehearsals have been held virtually through Google Meet or Zoom, and the students have worked tirelessly on script and character development through scene work and monologues, the exploration of space at home and within the frame of the screen, and the physicality of getting into their zombie bodies. Each actor is also in charge of prepping their performance space with their props, microphone, camera, and lighting, and doing their own hair and makeup at home—whether human or zombie!
Players technical director Daria Maidenbaum shared: “Bringing the technical elements of theatre to a virtual production meant revamping our whole approach. Our crew calls occurred via Zoom, where I’d split groups of students into breakout rooms depending on what element they were working on. On any given night, our makeup crew might have discussed what we’d need to create individual zombie makeup kits for each actor, or tested how to make video tutorials for each look, while the students focusing on streaming and communication would be exploring different programs and add-ons that might work best.”
Rather than just using a Zoom webinar, or connecting via a Google Meet to a streaming platform, Maidenbaum will be using a program called Streamlabs OBS to elevate the stream. She adds, “This gives us more control—essentially turning my computer into the control room of a tv broadcast—so we can put different things on the screen, add backgrounds or text and create a stream that doesn’t just look like a Zoom meeting. It’s been an interesting and challenging pivot to bring our typical student involvement in the tech process and our expected production quality to this digital and remote realm.”
Players director Meghan Rogers describes the play as a “deeply rich text that is intimate, humorous, and epic in its commentary about the human condition and experience. Playing on the idea of being an outsider or an ‘other,’ the show takes a deep dive into identity, gender, bias, race, stereotypes, family dynamics, searching for community, and zombies as a misunderstood race, but in an accessible and relatable manner. It is a real discussion of a path forward towards diversity and acceptance for all types of people and is incredibly relevant and important today. However, “All I really need to know, I learned from being a zombie” is also infused with incredible comedic and memorable moments! This is not your typical Halloween show!”
The Players fall production will be live-streamed on Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. via Broadway on Demand. The show is rated PG-13 for Halloween and includes adult themes. Tickets are available at www.sch.org/arts.