Heritage Theatre’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” opened on Thursday, April 8 and ran through Saturday, April 10. The cast, crew and pit reflects on the experience.
Dance captain Sara Weaver ’23, who last performed in the cancelled production of “Guys and Dolls”, appreciates the camaraderie of the production above all, a factor that she’s been missing since March of 2020.
“Coming back to in-person and dancing and singing with people, even outside, after not doing it for a year has been really amazing,” says Weaver.
Max Ching ’22, who played the role of Caiaphas, echoes this sentiment.
“I really like the time [the cast] spends backstage together,” says Ching.
“We’re bonding during that time because everybody is so close as a family, and when we’re on stage that really helps with the characters and the connections that we have.”
The rehearsal process was challenging for the group, as the entire cast was quarantined for 10 days only weeks before the performance. This led to temporary online rehearsals.
“It’s definitely been interesting having to prepare online,” says Weaver. “It’s created a learning curve.”
The cast was not the only group hit with a quarantine. The show’s pit orchestra, consisting of 24 members, lost nine people to a quarantine only days before the show, and the group had to adapt. Pianist Abby Nelson ’24 discusses this.
“It was definitely a lot different than what we’re used to because we had different instrumentation on the parts we needed to cover,” says Nelson.
For Nelson, the experience was, nonetheless, valuable.
“I think it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve made a lot of new friends because everyone’s super friendly and nice,” says Nelson.
Quarantine wasn’t the only challenge facing the show, as weather proved to be an issue in the days leading up to opening night according to Stage Manager Emma Bell ’22.
“We had to do the show outside and deal with the weather,” says Bell. “It snowed two days before we opened and all of our electronics and our set could not go outside for rehearsal.”
In spite of the obstacles facing the cast, crew and orchestra, the show was a success. Paint Crew co-head Isabelle Prairie ’21 talks about the value of the show.
“It was really fun to do; it was a really fun last show,” says Prairie. “I think everybody worked really well together and everybody adapted to the weird circumstances that we had to deal with. It was a great time.”
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