Meanwhile, the actors and actresses did a remarkable job maintaining six feet of distance, even while dancing and following one another around on—and off—stage.
“Originally there were these zones on the stage that were six feet apart,” says Hoover. “Everyone had a regular spot for the big group numbers, then we would go scene by scene.”
He adds: “The kids, from an acting perspective at least, have worked really hard on focusing on the other characters on stage, and so a lot of the movements for them were pretty natural. There were a lot of scenes were you really had three or four people. They had starting positions and ending positions and you had to figure out from your character work how to get from point A to point B.”
John Criscione '20 works his magic on stage.
The dance scenes, in particular, had proven particularly challenging. Two days before the show was set to open, Hoover considered cutting the dances during group numbers.
“Dance Captain Alex Schwartz ’21 made some adjustments on the fly with them,” Hoover says.
“He said, ‘Would you be open to keeping the dances if we come early and work on it?’ It was one of my proudest moments here at Ignatius. I pulled in the next day and the cast showed up early. They figured it out on their own, and they showed me what they did and it was completely different. I was thrilled, and they earned keeping those dances in. Their initiative really paid off.”
Dance Captain Alex Schwartz '21 (left) worked tirelessly to ensure the group dances could still happen.
As the show progressed, the magic of 1970’s pop rock music flowing out into the Ohio City neighborhood on a beautiful summer evening summoned at least one neighbor out of his home. He walked over from Chatham Avenue with his dog, set up a lawn chair near the Magis Athletic Center, and remained for the duration of the performance.
Just before intermission, the sun disappeared behind the canopy of trees in front of the bell tower at St. Patrick’s Church. As the break began, there was a palpable sense of joy among the audience, made clear based on the chatter that broke out among the family members assembled.
Remarkably, the technical issues of having the entire production outside were few. Consider that all the actors were mic’d up and all of the music was performed live by student musicians who were located inside the Breen Center.