25-year-old Briana Rumsy, the director of the Spring Musical, looks out towards the small group of hopeful high school students. Laughing and hushed whispers echoed through the Auditorium as the new cast of The Drowsy Chaperone awaited the start of their practice. This was the first of many practices to come before their performance in March. The musical, a traditional staple for EC in the spring, will return with slight adjustments due to COVID.
The talks of reintroducing the spring musical started months ago. “It started in the summer when we were talking about doing the play as well. I was asked back to do the play at school so we knew that if sports could do it then we could do it too. So, as long as we take precautions and wear the masks and keep the musicals down to a small cast number then we’d be able to do it,” said Briana.
When I asked Briana the main reason why she picked The Drowsy Chaperone, her answer was, ‘because it’s funny.’ Briana stressed how much she wanted to deviate from the everyday cliché Disney musical and branch into a different genre of musical. “Those musicals were great but variety is required, especially in these times. “I wanted to do something that we hadn’t really done here before at EC. It’s really fun, it's really funny and everyone wants to laugh right now, so I wanted to do a funny musical that a lot of the kids hadn’t known because some of [the cast] are new to theater so the more I could broaden your horizons, the better.”
Masks will be worn at practices by all members and The Drowsy Chaperone doesn’t call for a big cast, making it easier to manage COVID scares. They had tested these measures with the fall play and it worked out pretty well. Briana said, “We did it with the play with no scares really at all, so we knew we’d be able to do it with this as long as everyone is honest and takes the precautions that are needed to.”
Though not as many people auditioned as Briana had expected, she said, I was hoping for about 20 and I think we got around that number. I was actually expecting more because everyone is more into the musicals than the plays but we will make it work and we have an awesome cast as well.”