The Newark High School Drama Club is going way beyond the extra mile this spring to innovatively produce and present a filmed version of “We Will Rock You - School Edition” that will be available to audiences through streaming.
“Trying to select a show that would fit the streaming restrictions and also highlight our student talent pool was challenging this year,” Artistic Director Emily Howard said. “However, when I read the first few lines of the show, I immediately emailed Kate Flock and said “I think I’ve found it!” I think it’s really fun for our students to tackle singing Queen music. I know our audiences will enjoy hearing songs like “Under Pressure”, “Another One Bites the Dust”, “Somebody to Love”, and of course “We Will Rock You.” I’m hoping the campy nature of the script will lend itself to a unique film.
“Staying socially distant and masked presented some new challenges ,but we’re seeing these as opportunities,” she continued. “This year we will not be producing a traditional live show on the NHS stage. We are creating a filmed version of the show that will be available for streaming on demand. Our students will be filming the scenes in segments and then creating an end product that will resemble a film instead of your typical stage musical. The students will utilize tools and spaces at NHS such as the audio recording studio. Students will play an integral part designing costumes, hair/makeup, and deciding on film locations. We are brain-storming all of that now but hope to utilize some outdoor spaces around Newark. I’m also ex-cited about the opportunity to explore performing in places other than our auditorium! No other year would we have had the chance to do that. I thought it was the perfect time to do something really ‘out of the box’. I’m happy that so many students raised their hands (and voices) to go along this wild adventure with us!”
Howard said the show features all Queen music but isn’t a story about the band itself.
“The setting is a dystopian future where school and society is under the control of Globalsoft Corporation,” she said. “The evil Killer Queen (Bria Dano), accompanied by her sidekick Khashoggi (Cody Acquista), rule the world and control what people listen to,” How-ard continued. “No one remembers rock and roll anymore except The Bohemians led by Buddy (Dylan Burley), Brit (Jack Comella), and Oz (Gabriella Taylor). They’ve been waiting for someone to bring Rock and Roll back to life. Galileo Figaro (Jaston Brooks) and Scara-mouche (Isabelle Figueroa) are teenage outcasts who bond over “Breaking Free” and work to-gether to bring Rock and Roll back to the world!”
Flock is the musical director of the show. Rehearsals began March 15th.
And, for the first time ever, there is a student director – NHS Senior Ryan Hermenet who is the Assistant District of the production.
“His knowledge and film editing skills are going to be vital to the success of this production,” Howard said.
The Cast: Galileo Figaro: Jaston Brooks; Scaramouche: Isabelle Figueroa; Killer Queen: Bria Dano; Khashoggi: Cody Acquista; Buddy: Dylan Burley; Brit: Jack Comella; Oz: Gabriella Taylor; Teen Queens: Natalie Kelley, Brenna Stefanides, Anna Szarek.
Ensemble: Brooklyn Baker; Tanner Blaisdell, Esperanza (Ronnie) Braman, Felicity Brey, AJ Comella, Rachel George, Alicia Hernandez, Elijah Malach, Veronica Swann, Cole Talbot,Beatrice Van Riper, Amber Wilson
Crew: Blake Aldrich, Andrew Flock, Sara George, Jenna Havert, Meiah Johnson Danzey, Andrew Joslyn, Jadon Kowaleski.
The show will be available to stream May 7th and May 8th at 7 p.m. and May 9th at 2 p.m.. Information on how to purchase streaming tickets will be coming soon, Howard said.