Musical productions on hold


NEOGA, Ill. (WCIA) — Many schools had to either postpone or cancel their spring musicals after schools suspended in-class attendance because of COVID-19.

In Neoga, curtains were supposed to go up Thursday night for the high school production of “Godspell” after months of rehearsals.

Director April Banning says the rehearsal process began around Thanksgiving. Students have spent many weeknights together working on the production.

“We became really close, me and the kids spent a lot of time together,” Banning says. “So, it’s really been heartbreaking to see it all put on hold for now.”

Cast members say it’s been an emotional week, but they are trying to focus on the positives.

“Just seeing how tight we’ve all kept since this happened and the communication that’s been happening, you know you’re part of a family,” Senior Brooke Rupel says.

Kylee Phillips, a junior at Neoga, agrees.

“Going to rehearsal every single day, spending hours and hours with these people builds a great friendship and it’s almost like you build a love for each other,” Phillips says.

Senior Abbi Kepp says students hope they’ll get a chance to perform later in the school year.

“We’re taking it pretty well,” she says. “Just hoping we’re going to get that text saying get back in the gym, we’re going to get going in a week.”

In the meantime, they say they’re practicing their lines remotely.

Students at other schools have shared videos from their productions with WCIA 3 News as well.

Cumberland High School’s production of Seussical the Musical had to close after opening night. Students shared the song “Biggest Blame Fool” and thoughts on what they’ll miss the most about the show.

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