The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

… and the show goes on

Players is one of the most recognizable clubs at LM. But the pandemic has upended their traditional formats. Despite the challenges of this year, the club was still able to put together a performance to end out the year.

For one of the largest student clubs within the LM community, there has been an air of mystery regarding how Players might adapt to the challenging circumstances of this school year. After all, the Shakespearean comedy that was in production last spring was forced to be scrapped, leaving countless members and theatre-lovers dismayed. This year, though, club members came together and assembled a production like none other in Players’ history: PlayersFest.

PlayersFest sought to encompass all of the elements that the usual three productions included: the musical, the drama, and the comedy. This was a large endeavor, as they had decided to produce, direct, and eventually film seven one-acts, some of them scenes from plays, others from musicals, all showcasing the different aspects that make up a typical Players year.

Club president Anne Hamilton ’21 has spearheaded the production, dedicating her senior year to ensuring that she experienced one last hurrah, one final show. She recounted, “as president I began planning this production and then when I picked up stage managing I continued that by making sure that the pieces I was working on went as smooth as possible.” Of course, it wasn’t just smooth sailing, especially with such unusual conditions. “Trying to figure out something that would be fun to do and still put out the incredibly beautiful work that Players is used to was a rather difficult challenge, but it was definitely worth all of the hard work,” Hamilton added.

As with all Players productions, many groups behind the scenes are responsible for the success of the show as well. Costumes Crew, for example, had the responsibility of assembling the wardrobe for all of the segments. They had to design, plan, and sew custom garments to be used. Co-Head of Wardrobe Rose Solga ’23 described the accomplishments of the group: “My favorite piece is something that I didn’t make personally but something a designer, Tamar Galvin, made. She designed and sewed a beautiful golden dress for Mandy Donahoe.” Solga stated that they aspire to create something like that dress on their own in the future.

So how does one conduct a live theatre show in the age of social distancing? Well, flexibility turned out to be essential. According to Hope Wahrman ’22, director of three of the segments (Rainbow Connection, Two Player Game, & 7×13=28), they had to adjust sometimes. She stated, “We’ve had to have a few rehearsals virtually, and with musical segments it can be challenging. However, it makes it all the more special being in-person.” Once filming was completed, the only task left was for final editing, ensuring the success of the show’s streaming. 

Club members have contributed hours upon hours to the success of PlayersFest, truly showing that their dedication and determination will forever endure, despite the truly daunting odds and challenges this year presented. 

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