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The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Two Eighth Graders Reflect on Virtual ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Musical

Students taking part in the middle school musical prepare their costumes. This year’s musical was done virtually and will be livestreamed to the community. (WIS Red Devils)

The middle school musical Beauty and the Beast is coming up from April 29 through May 2. 

Unlike previous years, this year’s musical will be livestreamed virtually to the audience. The show is completely pre-recorded, but there will be post-show events with the cast every night that will be held live over Zoom. Tickets are $5.

But what is it like to take part in a virtual musical? Two eighth graders reflected on their last middle school musical experience.

“The biggest difference is that it isn’t live, because everything’s pre-recorded, so it’s a lot more like making a movie. And also of course there isn’t the interaction with other actors or audience, as much as in previous years,” eighth-grader Sofía Vakis said. This is her third middle school musical.

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The rehearsal process had some aspects that remained consistent with previous years, such as learning choreography and songs. But later on, everyone’s scenes had to be recorded, something that was completely new.

“[At the start of the process] there was a lot of introduction and there was a lot of [vocal teacher] Ms. [Madeline] Gondek and Mr. [Erik] Lurz, the director, trying to figure out what exactly we’re doing. I feel like they just kind of went with the flow of everything, because this is completely new,” 8th grader Cayetana Hamilton-Garcia said. This is also her third middle school musical.

The biggest downside for both Vakís and Hamilton-Garcia with the virtual show was the lack of cast interaction. However, there were still many fun moments.

“There’s still been a lot of great experiences and funny things that happened in rehearsal, even though it’s through Zoom. It’s also been a fun thing to get to do in the afternoons for a couple of months,” Vakis said.

These two actors hope that the community comes to see the show to experience the hard work that the students and teacher have put into this show. They hope people also realize that this is a unique opportunity to see a virtual show. 

“They have worked hard to get recordings in, make music tracks and [choreography] videos in. They put all this effort in in this completely new [format] to make the musical,” Hamilton-Garcia said.

“[There’s] definitely that feeling of ‘what am I supposed to do now?”

8th-grader Sofía Vakis

The two students have mixed feelings of relief and confusion now that they are done with the rehearsal and recording process. 

“One of the things that has remained the same, is that feeling after you’re done. [There’s] definitely that feeling of ‘what am I supposed to do now?’” Vakis said.

Vakis and Hamilton-Garcia also recognized the hard work that directors Lurz and Gondek put into the show.

“Ms. Gondek and Mr. Lurz were very good teachers. [They] were very fun. They made the Zoom experience as fun as it could be,” Hamilton-Garcia said.

“They took this potentially kind of terrible situation and worked really hard to make it happen. [The whole cast] is very grateful for that,” Vakis said.

Visit this link to reserve tickets. Show times are listed below:

  • Thursday, April 29, 7:00 PM
  • Friday, April 30, 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, May 1, 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, May 2, 2:00 PM

By Naomi Breuer

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About the Contributor
Naomi Breuer
Naomi Breuer, Editor-in-Chief
I am Editor-in-Chief of Dateline this year. As a junior last year, I was a Publications Editor and Middle School News Advisor. As a sophomore, I was WIS News Editor, and Arts Editor as a freshman. Other than Dateline, I enjoy baking, playing guitar, biking and participating in Model UN.

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