D211 Post: Fremd Moves Fall Play Online
As students and staff across William Fremd High School and the District adjust to social distancing, Fremd’s theatre department found a new method to perform their fall play, “The Theory of Relativity,” by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill. The department filmed their production and are currently streaming it at Showtix4u.
The play is described as a look at interconnected lives, told through a collection of songs, scenes and monologs. It touches on situations ranging from relationships to loss. The production was filmed over the course of several weeks by students from Fremd’s Theatre department.
For senior Lara Haciosmanoglu, who filled a variety of roles including cinematographer, lead camera operator, and performed as Joanna, doing the play in a socially distant production provided a few new challenges.
“In this production, we couldn’t all sing at the same time,” she said. “We had to pre-record our songs and lip-sync during filming. Additionally, while we are used to being in the Kolze Auditorium, for this, we were filming in a variety of locations.”
Haciosmanoglu noted that she plans to apply the experience from this production to her planned college degree of film production. She did say that the lack of a live audience was noticeable, a fact that was felt by fellow castmates like senior Zach Dyer.
“We love to perform live for people,” he said. “What’s so awesome about this is you get to see the audience reaction. If something is funny, you get that instant feedback.”
Senior Myra Longnecker, who plays a character named Mira echoed Dyer’s feelings on the absence of an audience.
“I feed off of the audience,” she said. “I feel that I can perform my best with them because it creates a type of good pressure.”
She added that the thought of doing it as a production nearly caused her to decide not to participate this year.
“I was pleasantly surprised by this,” she said. “This really helped teach people to deal with change and that there can be beauty in change. It really brought our theatre students together.”
Dyer added that while the year and production posed many challenges, he also saw these important positives.
“This has shown me how close the theatre community is and how resilient we are,” he said. “Overall, this has been a very cool experience that I will not forget.”
Haciosmanoglu said that she hopes viewers will take note of the crew’s emphasis on one very important issue addressed in the production.
“We put a big emphasis on mental health throughout the show,” she said. “We hope viewers will see that while we all may be struggling with different things, we are united in our humanity.”
“The Theory of Relativity,” can be streamed at ShowTix4U through November 6 for $2.