City High Drama Department Begins Fall Play Auditions

Opstad Auditorium's seats will remain empty this fall due to COVID-19.

Sophia Wagner

Opstad Auditorium’s seats will remain empty this fall due to COVID-19.

Sophia Wagner, A&E Editor

This year, the usual bustle of the annual Drama Department fall informational meeting was replaced with a post on Instagram. A simple design marked the announcement of the fall play: Little Women. The student run play will be directed by Shoshanna Hemley ‘21 and Tobey Eptsein ‘21. The show will be managed by Lily VanderLinden ‘21. VanderLinden, who played a prominent role in the decisions that went into the planning of the show, commented on the tedious process that went into creating a doable performance for 2020’s conditions. 

“We started talking about the future of City High Drama during our first Drama Board Meeting on September 23,” VanderLinden said. “During that meeting, we realized that it would not be possible to have a full-scale production with a live audience like we normally do this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

VanderLinden described the brainstorming that took place. She said that some suggested smaller shows, akin to the 2018 production of An Evening of Comedy, while others gave ideas of socially distanced readers theatre or radio shows.

“We settled on performing a longer show, however, to maintain a sense of normalcy. We settled on Little Women because we wanted to piggyback off of the story’s recent popularity with the release of the film last year,” VanderLinden said. “While we were disheartened to realize that we couldn’t have a large cast, we decided to take the opportunity to perform a play with a small cast that we wouldn’t normally consider because we usually like to include as many people as possible.”

This year, instead of filing into a dimly lit auditorium, audience members will have the option to dim their own lights as they tune into the performance from their own homes in response to COVID-19. 

“The plan right now is to record the show in scenes that we will edit together and broadcast. Practices will be limited to ten or fewer people to start and masks will be worn until we are actually shooting. We are thinking of using the stage in Opstad Auditorium for our main set and filming other outdoor locations off-site,” VanderLinden said. “We do need to confirm this because we may not have permission to use the stage due to the pandemic restrictions. Production and crew meetings will be held virtually over Zoom.”

Despite the challenges that have already made themselves apparent, VanderLinden remains hopeful to put together a show for all to enjoy this coming fall. 

“I am thrilled to be part of this year’s performance because I think it will be a feat of perseverance and adaptation,” VanderLinden said. “I know that we will need to work hard to make this show a success, but so far, I’ve heard nothing but encouraging determination from the crew and prospective cast members.”

Virtual audition information can be found at