Jesuit Drama prepares for online fall play in remote settings

Plank Article Jackson Sloat ’23

For the Jesuit High School Sacramento community, much has changed due to the pandemic. While academics and athletics look notably different, another part of Jesuit that has been forced to make adjustments has been Jesuit Drama. The program has gone from in-person shows and rehearsals in the Black Box theatre to Zoom meetings, and performances over live streams.

With their new upcoming show, Show. (And Tell): Items from the Museum of Lost Things, the cast and crew are doing their best to comply with COVID-19 guidelines and still perform a great show.

The play will be written by the cast and is going to be directed by Jesuit Drama Artistic Director Mr. Ed Trafton ’84. The play is about significant things or memories in the cast members’ lives that are important to them. 

Despite not being able to meet in person, Mr. Trafton has found a way to communicate and interact with his cast and the audience during the show through a live stream of sorts.

“I think we will be filming, and piecing it together as a film, and then providing it in real-time,” Mr. Trafton said. “With the opportunity then to interact with an audience that watched it.” 

While Mr. Trafton is confident about the upcoming production, working outside the Black Box theatre has been difficult. 

“We love our Black Box, and so what [online learning] is challenging us to do, is to again, to step outside of it, to learn other things, to focus on different kinds of skills, and to produce something that we’ve never produced,” Mr. Trafton said. 

Hayden Morrison ’23 has noticed a sharp contrast between this year’s play and last year’s never-performed Spring Musical, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. 

“Well last year during the spring musical, it was really fun getting to know everyone because I did not know anyone there,” Hayden said. “It was a really good experience, there was a nice bond between all of us. By the end we kinda just felt like a family, and now you are just so separated. Normally if two people are working one part but then everyone else is fine, you know you just go in the corner, you talk, you play games, but now because you are on Zoom, you gotta just sit there and be quiet. It’s a lot different.”

Another issue for cast members is having the mental stamina to stay online after a long day of school. 

“There’s a lot more fatigue that comes with online school, and it does sometimes get a little difficult to keep being on a device for more than 5 hours a day,” said William Lee ’22. “Although Mr. Trafton has found a very good way to mediate for that kind of discomfort, it is still somewhat of a challenge to stay online for even that little extra bit of time.”

When it comes to the play itself, William believes at its core its overall message will be impactful for the audience. 

“[The play is] something that is going to be very emotional,” William said. “It may not one hundred percent relate to a single person, but I think it will help people remember that there are still important things in our lives that we can still be extremely thankful for.”

In an age where school events are limited, students can have something to look forward to in Jesuit Drama’s new production, Show. (And Tell): Items from the Museum of Lost Things. Performances are scheduled to take place in between Thursday, Nov. 5th and Sunday, Nov. 15. More specific details of show dates and times within this date-range will be announced soon.