Penn Manor Productions will present the spring musical Now. Here. This. – Flexible Version in a virtual format April 9, 10 and 11.
The musical follows the evolution and adventures of a group of friends as they journey through time – from the present to the past and back again. They share stories about friendship, hiding, laughing, living, dying and school, leading to the elusive “present moment.”
There is no charge to view the performance, but viewers must provide an email address to receive a digital “ticket” to a specific show time – 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 9 and 10, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 11.
Reservations can be made beginning Friday, March 26, at this link.
In addition to acting in the musical, Penn Manor High School students helped direct, film or assist the choreographer with many scenes and created a video tour of the theater facilities at the high school to show at the end of the musical.
The show is in movie form because of pandemic restrictions, and the director, John Matusek, said the change from live theatre was an opportunity to empower students to find new ways to be creative.
For instance, students were tasked with planning a full musical scene from start to finish – developing the concepts, storyboards, timing cues for camera angles and music, and directing student filming.
They also created Now. Here. This. masks for all the cast members, high school administrators and school board members. And the day before the play goes live to the public, the cast and crew will participate in a socially distanced red carpet event that will feature a “behind the scenes/bloopers” video that was created by a cast member.
“I tried to take what could have been considered a negative experience and bring it to a new level of engagement and student empowerment,” said Matusek, a high school gifted support teacher.
Emily Witmer, a Penn Manor junior, said, “Being a part of this musical was an experience unlike any other for me. Since so many opportunities were canceled for high schoolers this year, I wasn’t expecting to even have a show this year, but I’m so glad that we did.”
Shows will begin at the specified times only and will not be available for viewing after the performance has concluded. Viewers will be able to access the show program during each performance.
Now. Here. This – Flexible Version is based on the book by Hunter Bell and Susan Blackwell, with music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen. It is presented through special arrangement with Concord Theatricals Inc.