Covid Steals the Show

By Sara Ares

Have you ever loved something so much and worked so hard for it only to see it then get snatched from you? Have you ever wondered why this happened to me now? Well, in March of 2020 that is what the graduating seniors  from Frank Sinatra High School were thinking. Students at Frank Sinatra had been rehearsing and practicing for their big debut in Hairspray the Musical since the summer of 2019. They worked after school and on the weekend for long hours to perfect their show. However, the seniors were looking forward to it the most because this was their last show and they were electrified for the show.They were even going to perform on Broadway, but when it finally came time for the opening, they were shut down and sent home. Right then and there was the day that the Seniors’ lives started to go downhill. They had worked so hard for nothing, or did they? 

My sister Sofia Ares was one of the people I interviewed. She was a senior at Frank Sinatra and had the lead role in the musical as Tracy Turnblad. This was her first leading role in her whole 4 years of attending high school. When asked how she felt when landing the role she told me how she was so shocked and did not believe it was real. She then went on to talk about when she heard the news she was actually about to go on stage to perform the musical Annie Jr. and said she cried. She had stated that the auditions started when they got their parts in June of 2019 and that summer they had to memorize all lines and songs. They had to  memorize everything by the first day of school and rehearsal which was September 5th. She had stated, “There would be rehearsal everyday after school until 6pm  and a lot of the times we stayed ate until 8pm. On Saturdays we would have rehearsals from 9am to 6pm” When Covid19 was first starting and being talked about she did not believe it would lead to the show being cancelled. She said that the cast got a text saying they would continue. However, later that day the lead roles were called to the principal’s office. She had said that as they were walking to the office she knew that the show was being canceled even though they all tried to think of different outcomes. When finding out the news she had said that everyone was crying and so upset. She was really upset and said for months that a lot of the actors would cry trying to get over it. As I was finishing the interview I could see in her eyes the sadness and frustration she had when they first announced the cancellation of the show. I asked her if the cancellation impacted the rest of her senior year. With that she replied yes. She said that the show was supposed to be the start of all the amazing and fun activities of senior year but that unfortunately did not happen. There was one word she said that she and everyone else felt and that word was hopeless. 

The cast was devastated. They were very upset, but they tried to not let it ruin the beautiful work they did. They tried and succeeded in continuing the show in a different way. They decided to do a performance that you can watch from the comfort and safety of your home. They had performed in live shows with the other cast who consisted of different actors because the show was double casted. The live shows were everyday and recordings of the show and they were posted on the High school website. You can still go there and find it if you want to watch it. Just simply go to franksinatraschoolthearts.org and look up Hairspray and find it. When the news about the cancelation and what they were doing went public, they were getting a lot of attention on social media and they were all getting support.

While the way they were performing wasn’t the same. They were persistent and made sure they were able to show up and perform their last show no matter what. This story of these seniors trying to make their last hoorah in their last year of High School as best they could really opened a lot of people’s eyes. These teenagers took all their time and power to make sure that they would still show their talent and hard work. They were determined to prove the Covid19 could not stop them from doing what they love. Even if it was not the most normal solution it was the best for them. So when you stop reading this article and go back to your everyday lives and an obstacle tries to stop you from doing what you need or want to do, remember these seniors are not even letting a Global Pandemic stop them.

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