Drama Club: Post Covid Revival

Lauren+Bruss%2C+Ryan+Whaley%2C+Austin+Budwell%2C+and+other+cast+members+perform+in+masks+during+the+2020+fall+show%2C+%22A+Midsummer+Night%27s+Dream.%22

Mason Kane

Lauren Bruss, Ryan Whaley, Austin Budwell, and other cast members perform in masks during the 2020 fall show, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Simon McKean, Student Life Editor

All around the stage echo the sounds of students at work; on top, it’s the hammering of power equipment; tucked away beneath, it’s the humming of sewing machines; behind, it’s the tinkle of harmonizing voices.

The EHS auditorium has quickly come to life in the last week as the Drama Club starts up for their fall season.

The club is to perform “Puffs” first thing this semester, according to senior actor and member of four years Ryan Whaley.

“The show is about a certain special boy with a certain scar on his forehead that goes to a magical school of magic from the view of the side characters…” 

Whaley said the show’s focus is on how three minor characters “can matter in the shadow of someone far more important.” He will be playing one of these starring roles, Wayne Hopkins, but said everyone is putting in an equal, and great, effort.

With the fall semester’s tight schedule, some in the club, including techie Chloe Taylor, are planning past the immediate performance:

“I’m looking forward to the Christmas show,” Taylor said. “I wrote it and I’m directing it, so I’m very excited to work on that. Near the end of the fall play I’ll hold auditions. After the fall show is over, we’ll practice everyday while tech builds the set…”

Another senior and club officer, Bennett Schuler, is more focused on running the club than either upcoming event.

“Last year almost everything was put on hold for safety, but this year we’re hoping to pick up where we left off, fingers crossed,” Schuler said.

While Whaley agrees with the sentiment, the thespian remains conflicted on the return.

“It’s only (a) return to normalcy because we’re used to how we have to run rehearsals and tech meetings and such, and we have more confidence in our work not being cancelled,” Whaley said. “I’d say because we have to stick to Covid standards, it’s not very different from last year…”

Taylor, a longtime member, remembers how debilitating last year’s restrictions were:

“For actors, they just wore masks and tried to social distance. That has not really changed. As for tech, we were split into two groups and only one group could be there each day.”

She said this kept many outgoing seniors from bonding with new members, hampering the community, and that the costume department faced similar issues.

But with the new year’s excitement, Schuler has a cautious but positive perspective.

“Since last fall we’ve been slowly growing our club back to its pre-corona self,” the officer said. “Covid has definitely proven that the situation can take a turn at any second. We’re always concerned about the show getting canceled. We plan for it, but we don’t let it rule us. The show must always go on.”