Behind Closed Curtains

The pressure of musical auditions is always intense, but this year it was even more stressful as students had to audition remotely.


photo by Kayla Tozier

Kayla Tozier auditions in front of her computer at home. All participants in this year’s spring musical audition had to muster their best from the remote confines of their own houses.

Kennedy Stana, Staff Writer

It is that time of year for NASH’s musically talented to prepare for the 2020-2021 musical season. Sadly for most, it is not going to be the same as in previous years. With the outbreak of COVID-19, musical auditions were constructed very differently. Not knowing what the future holds for these students, Mr. Tozier, the artistic director, is hopeful the production goes according to plan. 

I don’t want to short change any student from a musical,” Tozier said. “What we want to do needs to be in check with what we are able to do. The thought of ‘should have, could have, would have’ is always in the back of my mind.  To put it simply, our goal is to provide a wonderful opportunity for kids who want a musical experience.”

A major concern that students are facing is safety and what is able to happen with current restrictions. Tozier indicated what precautions will be taken.

“Temperature checks have been continuing for us throughout the fall with the middle school musical,” he said. “Along with the groupings of students, we also have been wiping done common or shared materials. These materials are also being kept to a minimum. I would like to keep as many of the same precautions in place for the high school show. These groups would either produce and perform an entire show, parts of a show, or selections from many shows.”

The general set-up of rehearsals is expected to be incredibly different this year.

“Although our plan has been in a state of fluctuation, the basic plan is to keep kids in groups as much as possible. These groups will still have acting, singing, and dancing elements. As local, state, and federal rules and regulations change, we will adjust and adapt so that we are able to keep kids safe and happy,” Tozier said.

In a few months, I hope to say that we created something awesome and kids are happy with what we did.

— Mr. Tozier, Spring Musical Director

Former cast member Rohan Puri, now a senior, is excited about still having the opportunity to perform.

“This year so far has been impersonal, and even if we are able to come together for something like this, it will be an amazing experience,” Puri said. “Making music with my friends and putting on somewhat of a show would still be incredible.”

Auditions were originally scheduled for Saturday, October 24th. The production crew, however, later decided that video submissions would be utilized. 

Though the news was disheartening, Puri did not see it as a setback.

“I am a little bit disappointed to not be able to do them in person, but the fact that we are still able to have auditions makes me hopeful for the winter and spring,” he said. “It will definitely be a different experience, though.”

Not only has the change of this show affected kids who want to audition, but it is also a worry for students who are members of the pit orchestra, stage crew, costumes, and set designers. 

I am constantly thinking about all of the pieces involved with a show. I will do my best to help create an opportunity that involves as many students as possible, including crew, orchestra, and actors,” Tozier said. “We will try to have no shared costumes and possibly ask students to bring as many common things [pants, shirts, hats] as possible.”

Puri participated in the musical auditions with fellow senior Alyssa Maenza. 

“I found this experience to be impersonal, but my stress levels were lower,” Maenza explained.

An audition process that takes a couple of days is now taking a couple of weeks. Many students do not know what this all means for the future of the musical season. Tozier, however, has a glimpse of hope for what’s to come.

“In a few months, I hope to say that we created something awesome and kids are happy with what we did,” he said.