Coronavirus hinders ‘1776’ spring musical

Isabella Zuluaga, Staff Editor

Erin Hollar was in the final dress rehearsal of Pascack Valley Theatre’s “1776” spring musical when she received an email that the cast and crew were still going to perform to direct family. 

The next day, the musical was cancelled on opening night due to coronavirus concerns. 

“We got to do all of the work and then got to the point where it was time to show it to everyone,” theatre director and producer Tom Lupfer said. “Then, it was pulled away from us. It’s so nebulous — we just have no idea what to expect.”

Lupfer said the set, including the lighting and costumes, are still ready and in the building.

“We want to share the work in some way,” Lupfer said. “We just don’t quite know whether that would be a full performance or concert version.”

The casting crew and orchestra started auditioning for “1776” in December, and the staff began preparing and rehearsing in June up to the fall. 

“We kind of knew that there was a chance that we weren’t going to get to perform, and we were in company trying to approach each week as we are together today and the next day,” Lupfer said. 

Senior and sound crew chief Gus Koeniges said he was “blindsided” and did not expect the musical to be postponed.

“Everything was moving so fast and [the coronavirus updates] were changing on an hour-to-hour basis,” Koeniges said. “I was really upset about it, especially because it was my senior show. It was taken away so suddenly and I was really hoping that we could get through the show weekend.”

Lupfer said the decision on the status of the musical depends on the “when” since it is the biggest factor. 

“If this drags on into the summer or the fall, the seniors have moved on,” Lupfer said. “It makes it really hard.”

While they await further instructions, theatre members have found ways to stay connected through Zoom calls and their recent project, “The Coronavirus Time Capsule,” which involves short video segments.

“[Each segment] talking about what’s happening and what it’s like to live in this generation of time,” Lupfer said. “It’s based on a framework that was laid out by Company 3 out of London. It created the original blueprint for ‘Brainstorm’ which was our fall play in 2018.”

Contributed by Tom Lupfer
Contributed by Tom Lupfer
Contributed by Tom Lupfer