The Drama Continues at Southeastern
November 12, 2020
THE DRAMA CONTINUES AT SOUTHEASTERN
Despite COVID-19 setbacks, the Southeastern Drama Club announces their plans for this year.
The Southeastern Drama Club is well-known for its spectacular annual shows, and this year will be no different. While the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely been a setback, the Southeastern Players have a plan to safely showcase this year’s performance, while still adhering to the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Health. The Drama Club will perform The Laramie Project this year, though instead of a live play performance, Southeastern fans will be able to watch it as a film. The Laramie Project is a play that analyzes the death of an openly-gay college student, Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998.
While this year will definitely look much different than years past, the same level of thought and preparation must go into setting up these performances. Casting, practicing, and filming must all take place, and everything must be meticulously planned. Mr. Fernandes, who is co-directing this film with Mr. Cross, and who has worked with the Southeastern Drama Club since spring of 2018, admits that this year will be more difficult because of the current health guidance and regulations. He also stated that theater, in general, is very different this year, because, as he says, “the magic of the theater is when you have actors and singers connecting with a live audience, and in order for that to happen you kind of all have to be in the room together. We can’t do that now.”
Mr. Fernandes and Mr. Cross have a unique vision for how to approach the show. Though many schools have done theatrical productions via Zoom recordings, the Southeastern Players will be mounting the production as a staged recording, filmed with the assistance of Video Production instructor Janelle Canastra. Rounding out the production team is Ms. Reading, the technical director of the Southeastern Players. The group plans to bring students in as small groups and arrange the scenes together as a filmed, theatrical production. The style of production is similar to the format used on HBOMax for the “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote.”
Mr. Fernandes also described the importance of showcasing The Laramie Project this year, because it sends a message of acceptance, and of respecting others’ rights and orientations, “Sometimes, people’s rights get trampled on. Sometimes, we hurt each other and attack each other for no other reason than who we are.”
Auditions were held virtually this year, as Southeastern was remote at the time auditions were scheduled to be held. Students got an opportunity to rehearse a monologue from a list, and then record themselves reciting the monologue. The students would then upload their video submissions to a Drama Club Google Classroom. Auditions are now closed, and Mr. Fernandes, Mr. Cross, and Ms. Reading are scheduled to view the submissions and cast the play’s performers soon.
About The Laramie Project
The Laramie Project is a verbatim theater play written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project which focuses on an openly gay college, Matthew Shepard, a student from the University of Wyoming who was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, because of his sexual orientation. It serves to paint a picture of the intolerance and prejudice we must overcome in our society and was chosen because of its relevance in our modern world.
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For questions about the production, Mr. Fernandes can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr. Cross can be contacted at email@example.com.
Written by André Arzeno, Legal & Protective Services, Brockton
The Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School District consists of a four-year public high school and a post-secondary technical institute. The high school offers 20 career majors to students from Brockton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon, Stoughton and West Bridgewater.