Two live Bright Star shows approved

Following Tuesday’s announcement to all virtual learning, Bright Star was canceled, but the community rallied to get it back


Abby Moutardier, Editor-in-Chief

After the district’s decision to cease in-person learning starting November 20, the cast and crew of Bright Star had to watch their show get canceled, and brought back.

As of now, the theatre department has been approved to have two live shows on Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m. They will also be live streaming shows at the same times, as well as on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Currently, tickets are only on sale for the live streamed shows. Those who previously purchased tickets will be able attend, but no additional in-person tickets will be sold. The live performances will have maximum social distancing, very limited capacity, and be done as safely as possible. 

“In theatre throughout the rehearsal process we have worn masks at all times, staying socially distant as much as possible,” junior Michael Mingus said. “For theatre there is an audience etiquette. Proper audience adequate is using the restroom before, after, and at intermission unless an emergency. Also to get concessions before the show and at intermission. We have spread out the audience so each party is socially distant and actually much further than 6 feet [apart].”

Bright Star had been scheduled for this weekend since the cast was announced. The sudden cancellation three days before the show was devastating to many theatre students, including senior Madeline Fisher.

 “I can’t lie to you,” Fisher said. “I sat there and sobbed. I couldn’t believe that the decision was made 72 hours before we were supposed to open the show. I don’t think it was right. We have followed every rule, mandate, order, and requirement that has been thrown at us. We have been the only extracurricular to not turn in a positive Covid case throughout all of this mess. We should not have to shut down unless everyone else is shutting down alongside us. We just want to be treated equally.”

Following the initial cancellation, members of the community rallied together to bring the show back, most noticeably, a petition was started by parent Lise Kruer. The petition had 719 supporters. Students and parents also sent emails to school board members and administrators. 

“It seemed like the best way to give a voice to the people who felt the same way we did,” Kruer said. “I will say, however, that we were not 100% convinced that it would work, given how complicated things are these days and what a short timeline we had to make a change. What we discovered was there were plenty of people who felt exactly the same way, which is obvious from the comments people left when they signed the petition.” 

What worsened the blow of the show’s initial cancellation was the fact that sports were allowed to continue, as they are run by the state as opposed to the district.  

“Athletics and extracurricular programs that are scheduled to participate in state/national tournaments will be allowed to continue to practice and compete,” Associate Superintendent Dr. Louis Jensen said.  “IHSAA doesn’t reschedule tournaments. The tournaments either happen as scheduled or they are canceled like last year. Extra-curricular events that can be rescheduled and are not confined to a specific schedule are postponed, not canceled, and are rescheduled for a later date.” 

Since the show could be rescheduled, it was initially canceled. 

“Our original thought was to allow events to continue up to the Thursday of this week,” Dr. Jensen said. “This would correspond with starting e-learning on Friday. We were planning on Bright Star being streamed and no audience over the weekend. It was my understanding, as of late November 17 afternoon, that Bright Star was going to be canceled because they could not get the live stream process worked out. Once we heard that live streaming was going to be an issue, we decided to have a live audience at the performances. Dr. Ginkins and I met with Mrs. Miller during first period and shared with her our decision.”