By: Janey Locander
Line O’ Type Feature Co-Editor
This school year has been different in many ways. Not only has our regular learning been affected, but those in sports and other school activities have been as well. Due to Covid-19, heavy restrictions have been put in place to ensure our safety, meaning students have had to forgo some of our yearly traditions and events.
Despite this unfortunate change, Maroon theater has been going strong while adapting to said changes, not only by having virtual Drama Clubs on Tuesdays but also continuing shows to keep those who are interested on stage or running crew.
I asked MHS English teacher and theater director, Kristin Koski, about what we can expect from performances this year as well as what would’ve been our fall show, “The secret in the Wings.”
Q: What was the premise of “Secret of the Wings?”
A: “The play opens with a quote from Rainer Maria Rilke: ‘Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.’ The play is a series of stories that reflect on this idea that the dragons could just need some love. They are fairy tales that we seek to connect to our current situation in Moline, Illinois, 2020.”
Q: What was your favorite part of the production?
A: “I worked with all of the freshmen who auditioned to create a pre show film that brought the theme to life in our own lives. I loved working with them to write their thoughts and present them theatrically. Everyone contributed their ideas, and it was a beautiful collaboration.
Q: What measures were taken to ensure safety for cast, crew and directors?
A: We split the cast into groups to make sure everyone could be involved but participate within the COVID 19 guidelines. We are actually in the process of restructuring those groups to ensure all students remain safe.”
Q: What does the fact that school was closed for two weeks mean for the production?
A: “The preshow film was filmed in quarantine, using Google Meets and personal video submissions to create an edited film that will be ready to present soon. The other groups mainly worked on memorization and planning, waiting to hear if they’ll be able to return to in-person rehearsals. We want safety as our number one priority, so we also met in Google Meets a few times to work on contingency plans, brainstorming ways to continue the production.”
Q: What plans does MHS theater have for other events or productions during this difficult time?
A: “The Winter Play will be a series of episodes that we’ll release on social media and maybe even on the school website. Students and staff are working together even now to write some culturally relevant and humorous stories that we think the student body will enjoy watching. MHS Theatre wants to entertain and enlighten, especially during these stressful times. If we’re going to be stuck inside during this upcoming winter, we want to give everyone something new and exciting to watch safely from home.”
Q: How can someone get into theater if they haven’t before or are new to Moline this year?
A: “There will be a Winter Play Interest Form published on our website in the next week or so. Every student is invited to fill out the form and let us know what they’d like to do to help MHS Theatre thrive.”
Thank you, Mrs. Koski for giving us the info on MHS Theater!
If you’d like to take part in what theater has to offer, there are many opportunities coming your way very soon, showing that even during tough times, we Maroons are strong and willing to make the most of what we’re given.
Good luck to the drama folks as they continue to adapt and make the most of the rest of this strange school year.
The Secret in the Wings at Moline High School. Photo from MHS Theatre Website (https://sites.google.com/molineschools.org/mhstheatre/home)