Drama Club Streams 2020 Fall Play, Everything Seems Like Maybe
1 December 2020
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual fall play, Everything Seems Like Maybe, was filmed at home by the student actors and actresses for the first time. On November 19, 2020, the play was broadcasted for one day only on Passaic Valley's Vimeo channel for members of the community to view.
The production took place virtually from start to finish. Auditions, rehearsals, and the viewing of the show were all done online. Rehearsals took place on Google Meet and students submitted taped monologues to the Director Ms. Pia Vanderstreet and Assistant Director Alexandra Paese '21.
“The process of producing a play virtually wasn’t really what I expected. Not being able to have rehearsals as a cast and see everyone every day after school made the rehearsal process seem much longer,” said Alexandra Paese. “Being Assistant Director my senior year really made me feel special and helped me realize that just because we aren’t physically in school I can still be part of what I love and hope to do in the future. Although I was still a cast member, having the role of helping Ms. Vanderstreet along the way, behind the scenes, was a real eye-opener as to what it is like to be in her shoes. I loved being part of this virtual cast. I feel like it brought us a lot closer together despite having to see each other through a screen.”
Everything Seems Like Maybe contains a series of monologues based on the feelings and writings of American high school students expressing what it was like to be in quarantine during the pandemic. “This play was actually written by teenagers in quarantine this past April and tells of their individual experiences. I think this is so important for the community to watch in order to understand what our students are going through every day. Even though they may not express it, this pandemic is affecting them in many different ways,” said Ms. Vanderstreet. “There were definitely tears shed by many throughout the rehearsal process and on show day. Hearing the monologues read for the first time on our Google Meet was extremely emotional for many of the students, especially the seniors. I feel like no matter how many times I watch it there are still parts that bring me to tears, not only because of how proud I am, but because I can truly relate to some of what these students were going through.”
Overall, Everything Seems Like Maybe was a way for Passaic Valley to convey the feelings of real students to the community and continue the tradition of the fall play despite the current circumstances. “Delivering the emotions that were needed in my monologues was difficult because I wanted to make sure I was representing whoever wrote the monologue authentically and how he or she wanted it to be interpreted. Yet it was also easy since I could relate on some levels to how the writer of the monologue was feeling,” said actor Christopher Perez '22.
Everything Seems Like Maybe was able to emphasize the idea that, while teenagers across the world come from different backgrounds, the pandemic has affected all of them in one way or another. “I thought all of the actors and actresses did a great job conveying the emotions in each of the monologues. Overall I was able to relate to a lot of the feelings and emotions that were expressed,” said senior Brianna DeLucca, who viewed the play.
Although different from past productions, Everything Seems Like Maybe was just as successful in entertaining and communicating with its audience. “The message behind the play is that although everybody is facing their own circumstances, we are all facing one circumstance that unites us. The play wants the audience to understand that bond and feel hopeful that we can all make it through these trying times,” said actor Daniel Dransfield '21. “For some people, theatre is a passion that they seek to enjoy always. That’s why it’s so meaningful that despite the circumstances, we managed to put together a beautiful performance. Such an achievement should inspire hope that everything will be okay in the end, as long as we stay united and keep adapting to the challenges presented to us.”