CTAA Prepares for Performance Virtually


Designed by Mililani Times

Isabella Makino

     The Central Theater Arts Academy (CTAA) and International Thespian Society (ITS) are preparing a virtual performance called “The Iliad, the Odyssey, and all of Greek Mythology in Ninety-Nine Minutes or Less.” It is a comedic performance featuring stories in Greek mythology, such as the Trojan War and the Odyssey. Members of CTAA will be performing and recording it in-person without a live audience.

“I think the best part has been getting so much creativity,” said ITS Secretary Junior Jacob Beattie. “Like, everyone is so inspired, and everyone really wants to make it work despite all that’s going on, so I think the best part has just been everyone’s energy toward it.”

     Members were split into five groups with each team of people handling different aspects of the production. There are directors, stage managers, set designers, costume designers, sound designers, and those working on projection in each group. These groups focus on different parts of the script.

     “We do have some direction, but we’re allowed so much more creative freedom of how we want to take our scenes,” said ITS Vice President Junior Evan McCarty. “It’s almost like a professional setting, like how designers would do it in like Broadway theaters, so we’re basically put in their shoes now. We get that huge creative freedom.”

     Previously, members were workers in CTAA performances, and had minimal control over the script and scenes. Members now get more freedom over the show. They are able to make more decisions about more design aspects of the show.

     “The best part so far for me is to watch students thrive and the students grow and really take ownership of this project,” said ITS advisor Carolyn Chung. “And I really see them becoming leaders, seeing them start to bond and work together to create something that’s greater than themselves. I think that’s really important and something that they can’t get from another class in this kind of setting.”

     The groups meet about once a week online to discuss the performance. Directors meet with set designers, stage managers, and other members of the groups, as well as the other directors from different groups. Members also attended some virtual and in-person rehearsals on weekends.

     “It’s a lot, I think, but it’s as hands-on as we can make Play Production and the whole experience as much as possible,” said Chung. “So I think it’s going really well, and from the feedback from the kids so far, they really enjoy the project, and they like how we’re giving them kind of like the keys to the car, where they’re able to really create and design and put their ideas to this whole project.”

     Though members have days where they can rehearse in-person, they must abide by social distancing protocols. Because of this, some rehearsals must be held online. 

     “It is somewhat of a strange communication barrier to do all of our meetings with our design groups through like Google Meets, but given time we have pretty much adapted to it at this point,” said McCarty. “It is a bit slower than I think it would be if we were in person, because then we could just respond so much quicker and have more of a connection seeing people, but we are adapting. It’s a bit slower, but still working.”

     In the future, CTAA might do smaller events. However, they are currently focused on this project, so nothing major has been planned yet. Information about how and when the project will be streamed will be released later.