Welcome Back, ADM Drama


Photo by Kenna Wheeler

Backstage Manger Brennan McGee during his interview, moments before the first dress rehearsal since last March.

A stage once dark and lifeless was suddenly brought to life on Tuesday when the ADM Drama Department had their first dress rehearsal for “Please Don’t Be My Drama Teacher” by Bradley Walton. This year, due to Covid- 19, instead of one large play there will be two one-acts that will be recorded at different times and shown to the public together in one recording. For the entirety of the pandemic until this date, the cast was split, most of them not seeing each other on the stage in front of a crowd since last March. However, the once cold lights on the ADM stage were finally turned on, warming the stage and the hearts of the actors.

For almost everyone involved in this adventurous process, this was nothing new, even for the people running the backstage side of the process. For backstage manager Brennan McGee, being behind the curtain was not foreign. Even though he can be usually seen in front of the crowd, he worked on the sound crew for “Murders in the Heir”, performed in the spring of 2018. “It taught me to be a lot more self- reliant, so I don’t always have to count on the sound crew to do their thing. I can just be independent on my own,” McGee commented. Even for experienced veterans, such as McGee, returning to the stage after such a long, unwanted break can be a foreign and emotional experience. “It was odd having to be masked up, and it added another thing I needed to be aware of to ensure the actors went on without their masks… but I’m looking forward to our performing night, but knowing we won’t be able to go out to eat as a cast or have a cast party sucks, especially in our senior year,” McGee said. 

On a different side of the curtain, actress Paige Jansen, who made her debut in “The Addams Family”, the 2018 musical, plays Michell in “Please Don’t Be My Drama Teacher.” She has also played larger roles, such as Bunny in “Inlaws, Outlaws, and Other People.” When asked how she feels to be backstage after so long, she said, “It feels really nice. I missed it, just the constant rehearsals and the constant memorizing. It feels way harder than it is, but it comes together in the end.” Rehearsals have definitely been harder, as there have “been fewer members at rehearsals, and trying to put scenes together when they have been broken apart has been difficult,” Jansen said.

The actors are set to officially record their first one-act tomorrow, October 16th, after five weeks of rehearsal. Once the first one-act has been recorded, the cast will transition to the second one-act, entitled “The Audition”. “The Audition” will be recorded on Friday, November 20th. Both acts will be debuted together online at an unknown date. However, the date will be announced soon.