Citizen, Scholar, Steward

The show must go on: MS Drama adapts to COVID

In the late spring, MS Drama Director Trudy Wheeler realized that she probably wouldn’t be able to have a live audience for her fall play. She decided that she would draw on her experience in front of a camera as an actress for commercials and industrial films and decided it would be great to give our students more of a movie experience, so she started looking for shows that had streaming rights.
The Orphan Train seemed perfect: Ms. Wheeler knew the scenes only needed three or four characters and that they already had many of the costumes in stock. She also knew this play would fit well with COVID-19 guidelines since it required a smaller cast and could mostly be rehearsed and filmed outdoors. 

Ms. Wheeler was thrilled that things fell into place so well for this production, especially without some of the conventional amenities of a typical production. “Hiring a costume designer while under COVID restrictions was not going to work, as we did not want to introduce another person from outside the KCD community into the rehearsal process,” Ms. Wheeler mentioned. “Since almost all the scenes take place outdoors, so we were able to rehearse and film outside! In a nutshell, COVID gave us lemons, so we used all the various ingredients and we are making lemonade!”

The cast and crew found two locations, Foxhollow Farm and The Woman's Club of Louisville, which provided all the settings they needed. “The historic buildings that The Woman’s Club owns provided the background for numerous scenes that needed a more cosmopolitan feeling. Foxhollow Farm has two homes that date back to the late 1800s, and they had a log cabin for one of our farming scenes.”

Another neat aspect of this production is that there were many KCD connections that helped make this filming possible. Videographer Ronnie Puno ’01 did all of the filming. He has also been teaching the cast how to use the cameras and about the technical aspects of shooting and editing a film. 

Some of the filming at Foxhollow took place at the houses of KCD grads Charles Barrett ’01 and Heend Sheth ’01. Former KCD parents Brian and Janey Newton offered their home for filming, and Maggie Keith ’03 of Foxhollow Farm also helped the production with two other locations on the farm.

The drama committee at The Woman’s Club of Louisville was also a great support for the production while they were on the property. Committee chair Diane Thurman is a former KCD choreographer and Ms. Wheeler is the vice president of the club. 

This turns out to have been a great experience for everyone! The cast and crew are excited for you to see the result of their hard work—be sure to check out the show online November 20–23
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Kentucky Country Day School is a private JK–12, coeducational school located on a spacious 85-acre campus in Louisville, KY. KCD combines a rigorous academic program with a wide variety of athletic and extracurricular programs. Our outstanding faculty creates an intimate learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.