MS theater students go UNMUTED and U-Highers bring Poe to virtual life

MS theater students go UNMUTED and U-Highers bring Poe to virtual life

UNMUTED: Lab MS Theatre presents Stories from Quarantine will premiere December 18 on Lab's youtube page.

Not to be missed: U-High's theatre program premiered their fall show, An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe, virtually on October 30.

"We are telling the story of our lives in this moment," says Middle School theatre director Audre Budrys-Nakas as she reveals the Fall 2020 production of UNMUTED: Lab MS Theatre presents Stories from Quarantine. This year's show will occur virtually and for the first time ever, will be an original piece, written and performed by our students.

"All of the events of the year, coronavirus, quarantine, the Black Lives Matter movement, all of it is so impactful. I am confident even if we were in-person we would have done an original production this year. So many important things have happened that it is important that we respond to the times," says Budrys-Nakas. The students have been gathering together on Zoom after school to discuss what is happening in their lives and asking themselves what their response is to it. They then brainstorm in breakout rooms working their pieces together or solo. They are taking the reins of writing and editing their pieces as they assemble a mosaic of works telling the story of this historic time. Drama teacher Lydia Schmidt is helping the production with tech and video editing and art teacher Illia Mazurek is working on the design and visuals.

"It's been both a challenge and an opportunity. Some students are, of course, disappointed we're not in-person. Nothing beats live theater! And yet, students are participating in different ways than in previous years. Those that might not have participated in some aspects in-person are able to find a different confidence online. We have a lot of wonderful writing talent, and the kids have really taken the ball and run with it. It's been a discovery process for all of us."