It’s been quite a roller coaster ride. In March, during dress rehearsal, COVID-19 stopped Romeo & Juliet in its final stages, moved it onto a digital stage but yet we had great hopes to go up in summer, in 3D. We didn’t. We stay digital.

Then came autumn. We started a new project — Much Ado About Nothing. And what can we say, despite it all, we’re still in rehearsal. Still working on it. Admittedly, we were moved back to the digital stage, but we hope this is only momentarily so. Because this production is different from all others that ESM Players have done before. This production will be a cinematic experience.

So, what have we been up to in the last months?

We did many close reading, trying to get actors into character — all safely distanced, all with VERY basic blocking: “Now, imagine that Benedick were to your left, Beatrice, and on line 25, you blow him a kiss.” And all this, with masks. Communication signals are sent via eyes, mostly. Be careful, enunciate but don’t project too much — this would help aerosols to spread. Who would have thought that directors were ever going to request less projection of their actors? Oh, corona.

But, there are some positive moments, too.

Jamming during rehearsal
Long distance blocking
Pretending that we can still put on a staged production…
Pretending, in costume
Here we go, digital it is again

And yet, we’re still hoping that after the lockdown we’ll be able to start filming for this wonderful project.

But now let’s hear it from the team.

Look at those fabulous costume drafts!

This is one of Lise’s works. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more updates in the next months — Messina High School is awaiting prom night!

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