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Upper school musical adapts to rehearsal without Black Box theater

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Upper schoolers practice for

Upper schoolers practice for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Due to construction, the musical will not be held in the Black Box.

Photo credit: Megan Escobar

Photo credit: Megan Escobar

Upper schoolers practice for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Due to construction, the musical will not be held in the Black Box.

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For the past 18 years, the Archer community has gathered in the Black Box theater to watch students perform musicals like “Bat Boy” and “Spring Awakening.” Because the theater is no longer accessible, actors and directors started taping new set measurements to prepare for their off campus show.

Upper school actors and tech crew members have been working together on the upper school musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” According to Playbill , the musical is about children’s struggle while competing in a spelling bee. The main characters include Olive Ostrovsky, Leaf Coneybear and Marcy Park. The show will be performed on Dec. 8 and 9, 2018.

Senior assistant director Megan Escobar said it has been challenging not having the Black Box to perform in.

“As my last year, I have been feeling more nostalgic and kind of sad that we don’t have the Black Box,” Escobar said. “[It was] a space where people [could] really explore different realms of their acting, but I think it’s a challenge people are getting through.”

Cast member Faith Hernandez ’20 said that the spirit of theater has endured despite the loss of the physical space.

“The Black Box is a symbol of Archer theater, but without it, theater has not lost its sense of community,” she said. “To get to the theater that we’re performing at, we have to miss a class, so we bond on the bus ride.”

Cast member Willa Frierson ’20 echoed this sentiment, describing how close the cast and crew is.

“Theater is my family,” she said. “I go through the school day to get to rehearsal at the end of the day.”

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