Almost three weeks ago the cast and crew of our spring musical Chicago finished our last rehearsal before spring break. We received our marching orders from director Josh vonKampen to have all of our lines memorized before we came back from break and walked out of Franey Hall listening to “Closing Time” by Semisonic, just like every other day. Little did we know, we would be soon stuck at home having all of our lines memorized but not sure whether or not our hard-working company of Chicago will get to see opening night.
I emailed Mr. vonKampen in order to gain some insight into what is going on with the musical. He said that he and the other faculty members haven’t made an official decision regarding the potential cancelation or postponement of Chicago. However he did say that he hopes we can perform it at some point in time and he would love to see all of the work that the company put in pay off. So there is hope that a performance may happen after this crazy time is behind us.
Anna Dorr, our stage manager remarked, “I just think that though this is a difficult time, we need to make the best of it and be hopeful.”
I also contacted some of the company in order to get their take on the state of our musical.
Sabori Cervantes, who portrays “Velma”, said, “Not only am I looking forward to performing with my favorite people, but also participating in the many traditions we have. My favorite tradition is circling up and singing the Suscipe together. I hope I get to do this one last time.”
Anna-Marie O’Donnell, a techie/artist expressed, “As a senior, there’s only one more show that I can be a part of, and it’s really hard to think that the end of my time with my theatre family might be coming early.”
Katie Schumacher, who portrays “Mama” added, “Everyone in theatre is a family, and we all love each other wholeheartedly. This department has changed me for the better, and I hope and pray that we will be able to perform this amazing show.”
Abby Rinkol, who is portraying “Billy” stated, “Being unable to do anything connected to it at all… it’s just terrible. The other day I heard “Closing Time” and I’m a little ashamed to say that I almost cried.”
Victoria Nimneh, who is portraying “Annie” answered, “I’ve made so many memories on that stage with such a variety of people, that it just feels so off-putting that it could just end… just like that.”
For many of us here at Mercy High School, theater is the place where we belong. Being able to put on a show together is what we love to do. So, as we go through this time, please keep the cast and crew of Chicago in your prayers.