Maria Carrillo performance arts theater (Photo: Max Mwaniki, The Puma Prensa)
by Isaac Lopez, staff writer
As the corona virus spread throughout schools, counties, and countries, we strayed away from performing arts and forgot how it feels to sit down and enjoy some entertainment sitting side-by-side in a theater. As the number of cases have slowly come down and people have been allowed to start coming out of quarantine, we can take a look at how things have changed so dramatically. After a long stretch of COVID, masks and health concerns, the Maria Carrillo High School performing arts department is officially concluding the year with a musical, Rock Of Ages. Although actors are excited for performances to start, there are still concerns and challenges the performers are facing as they move forward with preparations.
Junior Georgia Laganiere, who plays protagonist Sherrie Christian, said, “COVID makes it a bit harder to prepare for the musical, but I honestly haven’t done a show that hasn’t been impacted by COVID in a while, so those inconveniences are pretty standard at this point.” And overall, Laganiere said musical preparation is going well. Diego Rodriguez, junior, playing along-side Laganiere as Drew Boley, also added, “I realized that we know a lot of [the choreography] better than we thought we did.”
For some Rock of Ages will be their final performance as a part of the MCHS Performing Arts. This includes seniors Andrea Chavez and Reiley Trainor, who shared how COVID has impacted their ability to participate in the show as well as how it feels knowing it’s their last show. Chavez, who plays Justice Charlier, stated, “COVID has severely affected my motivation.” She also added, “normally you would be very tight knit and hugging all the time…we don’t as much as normal, just to be safe, so I would say COVID has really changed my perspective.” Trainor also commented on how the cast dynamic was affected, saying, “Even though the cast is with each other every day, it doesn’t feel like we get to bond.” This is the worst for those like Chavez who call the theater their “therapy/sanctuary.” When theater is put on hold, Chavez said, it’s “heartbreaking.”
Although faced with unfortunate circumstances, the MCHS performers are more hopeful than ever and ready to perform. Chavez shared how she’s “learned a lot” and is “grateful for the family she made.”
“As always, we adapt,” Trainor said. “We find other ways to connect and express ourselves. At the end of the day, COVID can’t stop us from making art.”