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It’s Summertime in the FHE Theater!

Even a sharp incline of COVID-19 cases, a multitude of brushes with contact tracing, and the return to hybrid scheduling could not stop the Forest Hills Eastern Theater Program: after all, the show must go on!

Clear masks, delayed auditions, performing in Eastern’s auditorium, and prerecorded background vocals were some of the many precautions enforced to keep corona exposure to a minimum as the theater department proceeded with the yearly musical.

Senior cast members gather around the rock, freshly painted with the High School Musical logo.

Despite these hurdles, the spring musical fostered a sense of stability amidst the constant change. “I think [the show] brought a sense of normalcy,” commented Abby Rush (‘23). The theater program’s persistence in the face of “everything being shut down” boosted everyone’s attitudes, and made participation in the show “a lot more exciting than [it] seems to be usually.” 

As a senior, Brendon Banda (‘21) is excited about ending his high school career on such a high note (pun fully intended). “Most of my best high school memories have come from being on the stage [and] with [these] people,” he reflected. “It’s been a great thing to keep normal for our senior year… it’s one thing I’m dependent on because nothing has been normal for us—except this musical.

Rehearsals “brought a sense of normalcy.”

Additionally, Abby credits the show’s success to the connections that were fostered throughout countless rehearsals. “[This year] we were able to open up and take away some of the cliques and put people together more,” she claimed. “The gap between the upperclassmen and underclassmen has been closed a lot too. People forget how important that is in making people more comfortable with each other.” She went on to explain how these “underlying connections” were crucial in allowing the cast to develop their characters. 

“This is such an awesome cast,” gushed Director Annie Pruski. “I don’t know what to say other than that! They’ve worked so hard—they’ve risen above all the COVID protocols, and have still made this a fun show!”

To purchase tickets and/or the on-demand link for closing night, click here!

Featured image(s) courtesy of the FHE theater.

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