With the 2020-2021 school year already being full of unexpected changes, the Music Department added another one, as the Fall Musical, which is usually held in November, is getting pushed back to a Spring Musical.
The decision was made by Musical Director Alex Underwood.
“There’s tons of evidence, especially on different choirs that would rehearse together, and if one person had tested positive, a whole bunch of other people would test positive as well,” Underwood said. “Basically, research showed that singing acts are a super-spreading event.”
Musicians and singers commissioned a study from the University of Colorado that showed there would be many precautions that casts would need to take. From this, Underwood decided there would be a greater chance to get to perform the musical if they waited until the spring, in the hope that the COVID-19 virus dies down between now and then.
“I have mixed feelings about the change,” Underwood said. “On one hand, it’s sad that we don’t get to do the thing that we really want do.”
Some Hays High seniors are planning to study musical theater when they go to college, so they are also frustrated with the change.
“I’m a little disappointed because I was hoping my senior year musical was going to be a big thing, but I also understand that it’s probably for the best,” senior Andrew Duke said.
Thomas More Prep-Marian and Fort Hays State University also moved their musicals to the spring.
“I know very few schools in the state of Kansas that are going ahead with the musical in the fall, and if they are, there’s lots of precautions that they are taking,” Underwood said.
While the musical will be moved to the spring, the Spring Play will still happen, too. The Spring Play will take place before the musical, then the musical auditions will begin the week after Spring Break.
“I’m kind of upset because it’s getting pushed back to around the time Spring Play is supposed to be,” junior Stanna Flinn said.
However, Underwood said he hopes that students will join the cast and that the Spring Musical will be successful.
“I’m not sure yet what I’m going to have the musical be,” Underwood said. “I have a couple ideas running around in my head, but we haven’t decided on anything yet.”