The seniors were shocked when an unexpected announcement rang throughout the school on Monday. It was PA! After a semester of intense anticipation, the special day had finally arrived. For the first time since 2020, seniors were treated to a live production of PA. Also known as Prom Announcement, PA is a beloved Mercy tradition where the juniors surprise the seniors with a play, revealing information about prom. The play typically has a fun, pop culture related theme which is kept under wraps until the day of the performance. Additionally, the colors, date, theme, and venue of Prom are hidden from the senior class until PA.
Last year’s PA was anything but typical. Due to the ongoing pandemic the school could not safely meet in Franey Hall to watch the play. Instead the junior class filmed, edited, and produced a video rather than the usual live performance. As a junior I was disappointed with the virtualization of another tradition, however we were all able to make the most of the opportunity.
The class of 2022 came together to create a “Lorax” themed PA, which we debuted at the Aksarben Cinema for a limited audience of the junior and senior classes. Ultimately, the virtual format allowed us to be more creative with the concept.
One of the 2021 PA directors, Lilee Surdell-Eichten noted, “A benefit to creating PA via video was the opportunity to retake and redo scenes as needed.” Additionally, we utilized special effects and green screens to truly bring “The Lorax” to life. Seeing our hard work displayed on a massive screen was so much fun, and we were thankful that adjustments were made to allow us to continue the iconic tradition.
This year’s PA marked a well appreciated return to normalcy. The entire school community cherished the opportunity to return the tradition to its usual live play format in Franey Hall. Seniors attentively watched every scene, and the sheer excitement and energy from our grade reverberated throughout the auditorium. Surdell-Eichten witnessed the incredible sense of community saying, “Covid had really taken away all of the special traditions Mercy does, so having our school back together made PA so memorable this year.” Notably, the juniors concealed the details of PA very well, so the seniors had little to speculate upon. The play ended up being a “Clue” inspired murder mystery. Through exuberant characters and a riveting plot, the theme of prom was revealed to be “The Final Clue” with red, plumb, and cream as the colors. The junior class worked extremely hard to put together the production, and I speak on behalf of my entire class when I say I enjoyed every minute.
PA will forever be a treasured day in our hearts. The past two years have only increased the importance of the special tradition and strengthened the sense of community instilled by the play. Whether virtual or in-person, Mercy girls will make the most of the situation and create memories that will last a lifetime.