Clark’s 2018 performance of Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR.
Clark’s 2018 performance of Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR.

With the switch to online learning, teachers have quickly adapted and embraced different kinds of apps and technology to keep their students engaged. JumpStart Theatre schools have only had theatre programs for a brief time, but the teachers are working hard to keep them alive remotely using a variety of creative approaches. Here’s a peek at some of the ways they are keeping their students’ spirits up as their productions have been postponed or canceled:

Clark Montessori (Cincinnati, OH) is hosting dance challenges and parties on the Tik Tok app and watching the film version of Hairspray! (the show they had planned to perform this spring).

Liberty Bible Academy (Mason, OH) is planning to perform their show in late summer and has been working with MTI to record short sections of their students performing to keep the material fresh in their minds.

Felicity-Franklin Middle School (Felicity, OH) has organized live sing-a-longs on Facebook.

Felicity-Franklin Middle School play - a girl dressed as a crab bows on stage
Felicity-Franklin Middle School play - a girl dressed as a crab bows on stage

All six San Diego schools are working on various types of online performances to wrap up the year. Ideas discussed include reading live on Zoom, putting together a video of the rehearsal process inter-cut with recordings of students reading scenes or singing scenes from the script. One school, Los Coches Creek Middle School, has organized regularly scheduled online rehearsals and has a fully fleshed out plan for presenting.

Two schools, Roberts Academy (Cincinnati, OH) and Margaret Buerkle Middle School (St. Louis, MO) were able to get their performances up in early March, just before the schools closed.

Some schools are hoping to be able to reschedule their performances during the summer, and are working on plans to hold rehearsals “summer-camp” style, where a week-long, full-day, school theatre camp will be held and students will perform at week’s end. More plans are in the works, and we look forward to sharing details as soon as they are available!

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ITF 2019 Performance on stage, all actors' arms outstretched