Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) is very well known for its theatre productions and community events. Like everywhere else, however, the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on the college being able to provide these activities. However, college staff and personnel are not to be denied, and the show goes on!
In this case, the college staff, led by NACC’s Director of Theatre Kayleigh Smith, has used the college’s state-of-art technical equipment and very talented theatre students, community members, and college staff participants to produce a virtual play that viewers may enjoy from their homes.
The play is Songs for a New World, a collection of stories spanning from a 1492 Spanish sailing ship to a ledge, 57 stories above Fifth Avenue in New York City. The stories venture into the mysteries of life, love, and choice.
The production was filmed entirely at the Tom Bevill Lyceum on campus under strict coronavirus prevention guidelines, using video and auto-conferencing software such as Zoom.
“I think this production reflects the great talent and creativity of Ms. Smith and our students and staff,” said NACC President Dr. David Campbell. “It is our gift to the community during these confining times.”
Northeast Director of Theatre Kayleigh Smith spoke on producing a show under coronavirus precautions.
“Streaming a filmed musical is something we have never done, so it’s been a challenge! Everyone involved in our production of Songs for a New World has worked incredibly hard to make this happen,” said Smith.
Smith said she and Technical Director Brad Archer held all design meetings through Microsoft Teams. NACC alum, Rylee Hancock, directed vocal rehearsals via Zoom while Stacy Morris, Director of Music Ensembles at NACC, led the band.
The band and the vocalists were recorded by Lucas Smith at Lucky Sound Studio. After all the audio was recorded, Jarrod Blackwell, NACC’s Multimedia/Audio-Visual Technician, filmed each song individually.
“We kept a strict schedule so that there were only a few actors in the theatre at a time. This “new normal” has not been an easy adjustment,” said Smith. “The arts have suffered greatly in the last seven months. Even Broadway has been shut down until next year. So I’m thrilled that Dr. Campbell has given us the opportunity to create art during these unprecedented times.”
Songs for a New World will be streaming on Nov. 6-8 and 13-15, 2020. Tickets to the performance may be obtained several ways. Patrons may purchase tickets online at www.showtix4u.com/event-details/39619 or by visiting the theatre’s webpage at www.nacc.edu. To order tickets by phone with a credit card call: (256) 638-4418 ext. 2218.
This show also holds special meaning for the theatre community. “Days before we started rehearsals for the show, we lost Regina Williams, a dear member of our theatre family, to Covid-19,” said Smith. “Regina and her daughter Georgia have been involved in NACC theatre for many years. This tragic loss made it even more important to us to make this show safe for everyone involved. We have gone to great lengths to keep our cast and crew healthy!”
“We certainly hope the community enjoys this production,” Campbell said. “I am so proud of our students and staff for their talent and determination in finding a way to get this done.”