Looking back at 2020 with the ESM Players

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!

ESM Players welcome their audience to Messina High School!

ESM PLAYERS 2020/21 — the team

We’re back! This year’s team ESM Players is the biggest ever, we have grown to 24 participants! And we’re very excited to bring our version of Much Ado About Nothing to you next year, High School Messina.

The story: Hero prepares for her entry as prom queen for Homecoming. Donna Jane and Don Pedro return from a tournament in which Don Pedro’s team has successfully beaten Donna Jane’s team. Shortly before Homecoming, Claudio falls in love with Hero and vows to stop down from his team’s duties in order to spend time with Hero. Benedick, Claudio’s best friend, is not amused.

And it wouldn’t be high school if the seniors didn’t play some pranks on the juniors. And so, Don Pedro and Leonato, Hero’s brother, decide to bring Beatrice and Benedick together. Will it work?

Meanwhile School Security Chief Dogberry and his team try to maintain order at school, assuring Headmistress Sexton that there won’t be any incidents or disturbances during Homecoming.

Sister Francisca and her Well-Being team likewise take care of students’ daily woes, and thus often get to know school gossip firsthand.

Prom night is about to happen, the girls don their fancy dresses and the boys their tuxedos — but Donna Jane and her friends of mischief, Borachio and Conrade, have other plans…

New Normal in Masks

Stay tuned for updates on our journey!