As You Like It: The Theatre Department continues to innovate in Covid times

Don’t miss this year’s spring musical


With everyone coming back to school, it seems like things are finally getting back to normal. One of the reappearances is the annual Spring musical. The Albuquerque Academy theater department has worked diligently to be able to bring you another stunning musical production just in time for the Spring Season. This year’s production is a modern rendition of the classic Shakespearean comedy: As You Like It. The musical’s return has not been without obstacles, however. Due to COVID restrictions and taking into account the health and safety of cast and crew this production will be a virtual one, pre-recorded and edited together.

This year, the theater department has chosen a musical adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s classic comedies: As You Like It. This new version features a more modern feel while still preserving most of the original language as well as a considerable number of new and energetic musical numbers. In traditional Academy fashion, the theater department has decided to take the play one step further to make it their own; this production of As You Like It has been given an all new setting right here in the Land of Enchantment. “This is going to be interesting for us to see how the audience responds to a play that so many people are familiar with but nobody’s familiar with the musical version. It also has only been around for a couple of years. Its got contemporary music so there’s potential for it drawing a new audience,” says Richard Hogle, production designer and technical theater director. In addition to this exciting new production, the theater department has also found new and innovative ways to make this play accessible despite school and state health regulations, including a new online growing format.
This year’s production features an amazing cast of 17 actors from various grade levels and a team of 10 dedicated backstage crew members. Despite having such a diverse team, the process of producing the musical has not been easy. The production team has faced challenges with rehearsals, formatting, and even morale. “For some people there’s definitely a negative feeling of I do the theater for the community and there’s no community with me just looking in my home. So I think that may have had some effects on the casting,” says Hogle. However, not all these challenges have been negative. For example, the new video recording style has opened up new avenues for students whose passions lie in video editing and the more technological aspects of theater and even film. This year’s musical is unlike any other in that it will be released completely online. Academy has partnered with ShowTix4u, a company that provides a virtual “theater” experience for schools and other businesses. “Even though this will be pre-recorded, you will only be able to watch it as if you were watching a live performance. You won’t be able to watch it like on demand where you can start it and pause it at your leisure. It runs within a very specific date and time frame and that is because of contract,” says Hogle. As You Like It premiers April 15 and runs through the 18th as well as from 22nd through the 24th, though, as of now, those dates are still tentative. Students can reserve tickets online, free of charge, as early as a week before. After reserving a ticket, an email will be sent out with a link to watch the show.
Despite the upheavals and changes that have marked this year, the new spring musical: As You Like It, promises to be a truly one of a kind experience. Completely prerecorded, straight from the actors homes, painstakingly edited and animated, and released entirely online; this is truly the one to see. So reserve your tickets as soon as possible and come support such a noteworthy performance. Until then, check out the preview!