Production was two years in the making and was well worth the wait!
In September 2019, St. Cecilia Catholic Elementary School in Maple announced that devoted staff and students would embark on a journey to present their third musical production, MTI’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.”, in April 2020. Together, students and staff worked hard on the production and even went the extra mile to ensure that there was space for every student to shine. For some students it was painting masks, for others it was operating technical equipment, and of course, for some it was being in a lead role. The staff created costumes, built sets and rehearsed with an incredible group of students.
In March 2020, when the pandemic hit, everything changed. Sets were put into storage and costumes were packed away. What students and staff spent months preparing for seemed like it would never happen. Everyone eagerly awaited the return to school to complete the project but it didn’t happen. Grade 8 students involved in the production graduated and went off to Grade 9 at new schools, and as more time passed, hopes to finally put on the show slowly faded.
However, Music Theatre International made a decision to allow certain shows the ability to be done remotely and staff and students at St. Cecilia were thrilled that its production of The Little Mermaid Jr. was one of those shows!
Staff organized quickly and worked together to reassemble the cast and make the show happen remotely. During the provincial lockdown, students met after school through a Google Meet with teachers and began rehearsing. With the use of a green screen, and with the help of their parents, cast members recorded their parts and submitted them to be assembled together into a virtual performance. Our former graduates who were involved in the production returned virtually to reprise their roles. Choreography was adjusted to fit within the restrictions of a green screen and sets were photographed and imaged into the production. Costumes were quarantined and distributed with a scheduled curbside pick up. Finally, on June 23rd and June 24th the show was available to be streamed on www.showtix4u.com. The St. Cecilia school community purchased streamed codes to view the performance from the safety of their homes. After all the time and countless rehearsals, they were finally ready to share their production with the community – and the community loved it!!!
This experience brought the St. Cecilia village closer together. Parents became an integral part of the show by helping their child rehearse and review their lines outside of rehearsals. Many read lines for their children, assisted with costumes and helped their child with recordings. This musical truly brought joy to the community and is a true testament to the devoted, committed and talented staff and students of St. Cecilia. Congratulations on an exceptional production!