FLHS Drama Club: Same Community, New Kind of Theater


“The course of true love never did run smooth,” Shakespeare wrote in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Similarly, putting on a production in COVID-19 is not an easy feat. However, with safety protocols, determination, and the creativity of Director Christy McIntosh Newsom, the FLHS Drama Club will soon be releasing their fall play in film version. This year’s production was a modernized take on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a Shakespearean comedy that shows what happens when the worlds of lovers, fairies, royalty, and a ragtag acting troupe intersect.

The Prospect interviewed the actors and crew for a perspective on how the Drama Club adapted to the unique circumstances—and opportunities—of 2020.

In order to keep everyone safe, the Drama Club moved their rehearsals, which would normally be held in the auditorium, outside. The rehearsals followed the hybrid schedule, to limit contact between students in different cohorts, and were socially distanced. Instead of a live performance, the actors, wearing clear face masks, performed for the camera. The show was filmed over the course of several days in November. The FLHS community will be able to watch the film production in January for a ticket price.

Sophomore Kyle Geriak, who played the young lover Demetrius, shares, “Christy always knows what to do when it comes to creatively reinventing the way we do things. We filmed the show with clear masks on different outdoor locations around Ludlowe. It was a great film and TV experience because rather than performing for the stage you are performing for the camera!”

Junior Sophia DelGaudio, who played the fairy Peaseblossom, reflects, “Filming outside in the cold instead of the hot stage was quite the adjustment, but we all took it in stride because it meant we could put together a show.”

The willingness of the director, cast, and crew to adjust to this new terrain allowed the Drama Club to experience the same community they have had in normal years. Even though the rehearsal group was smaller this year, due to the cohort schedule, it was an opportunity to form new friendships and deeper connections.

Sophia adds, “We all clicked and worked together really well, but I will say that with the cohort separation I got closer with people that I might not have otherwise. It was honestly really great to form closer bonds with other people and I think that goes for everyone.”

Behind the scenes, the Costume Crew also adapted to the circumstances this year. Typically, the Costumes Crew would pull garments from the school closet, and supplement their findings with thrifting and online purchases. This year, however, the cast brought in their own costumes from home, instead of coming in for fittings.

The modernization of the show also gave Costumes the opportunity to experiment with a new aesthetic. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is set in the present day at a school called Athens High. The Costumes Crew chose garments that both complemented the personality of each character and fit in with the high school setting of the show.

Junior Cate McNamara, the leader of Costumes Crew, explains their creative process: “We gave each little group of characters a classic high school movie stereotype. The royals were the student government; the lovers each had their own characterization. Hermia was a cheerleader, Helena worked the school newspaper, Demetrius was on the football team, and Lysander did a capella. The mechanicals were the school’s drama club, and fairies were a mix of LARPers [live action role players] and modern-day hippies. We tried our best to make the character wear clothes that could be seen at our own high school.”

Getting all of these costumes ready for the filming of the show, under time pressure, required both teamwork and communication. Cate adds, “It was difficult to reach out through text messages to almost the entire cast and stay organized while helping them figure out what they should wear for their scenes but ultimately I’d say the teamwork pulled through….Really [the] feeling of nervous adrenaline is my favorite part of theater because everyone is experiencing the same jitters and it’s a real show of strength to be able to put on a show at such a short notice.”

Costume Crew member Declyn Keiser, a Ludlowe junior, speaks to the crew’s determination: “We spent many long nights helping the cast get ready to shoot their scenes and I feel so lucky to have been part of this experience.”

While the lights of Broadway remain dark, FLHS students were able to return to their passion for theater and a club that has been a constant home throughout their high school careers. Seniors who have been veteran members of the Drama Club for four years were able to experience their last fall play on a positive note.

More than anything, students cherished this outlet during a pandemic that has distanced them from both social interaction and theater opportunities. Actor Kyle Geriak remarks, “We are definitely a close-knit group after this experience.”

Junior Sophia DelGaudio concludes, “It was honestly some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be posted online in the coming weeks and ticket sales will open once the editing process is complete.

Stay tuned for updates from the Drama Club so you can be the first to watch “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”! Follow the FLHS Drama Club account, @FLHS Drama Club on Facebook and @flhsdramaclub on Instagram to learn more about the group.