NPHS Theatre to present “Breathing Through COVID”

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Knight Crier

NPHS Theatre and Thespian Troupe #5464 is proud to present “Breathing Through COVID” this weekend.

LANSDALE – The North Penn community is invited to tune in this upcoming weekend for a virtual performance of an original show, Breathing through Covid, created by North Penn High School (NPHS) Theatre and Thespian Troupe 5464. The show is a collection of impressions, experiences and reflections on 2020 during the time of COVID-19 and will be broadcast on North Penn Television (NPTV) on Friday, January 29 at 8:00 pm; Saturday, January 30 at 8:00 pm; and Sunday, January 31 at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

Breathing Through COVID has been a different experience, but it has been amazing. Although it’s virtual, there are many elements that truly make the show something special. Definitely tune in because the work we put in really shows!”

— Keenan Washington, Thespian Troupe #5464 Co-Vice President

Breathing through Covid began as brainstorming sessions in July of 2020 with NPHS students and the theatre staff. From these sessions, a list of general topics took shape. All students who auditioned for the show were accepted into the acting company and chose the topics that interested them. The casts met virtually once a week and through discussions, dramaturgy, improvisation, breakout writing sessions, inspiration and frequently shared individual work, discovered how each topic wanted to “breathe” in form, content and performance.

As the script neared completion, the NPHS technical crews joined the cast to select costumes, check the lighting, sound and recording equipment, and be the “eyes” on the recording process. While a few pieces were recorded in socially distanced sessions outdoors at NPHS, the rest were recorded by the students themselves in bedrooms, living rooms and backyards – just as we have lived the past months. The NP Theatre Guild, a parent organization, delivered ring lights and green screens/paper to the performers’ homes for recording the scenes and segments. After recording, editing of the show took place under the guidance of Noah Golden, NPHS ‘17 graduate and founder/owner of Outloud Productions, with student editors and stage managers.

“Our experiences and reflections may differ from yours,” says NPHS Director Andrea Lee Roney. “This is not a show of judgment or persuasion. It is an effort to present life as we experienced over the past 10 months. It is an attempt to produce theatre as Shakespeare advises in Hamlet: ‘[for] the purpose of playing [presenting theatre], whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature.’ This is our mirror.”

This is not a show of judgment or persuasion. It is an effort to present life as we experienced over the past 10 months.”

— Andrea Roney, NPHS Theatre Director

“Andrea and I have just been amazed with the thoughtful, creative, honest work that the students have put in and the research that has been done. I leave rehearsals, and it’s just…they’re amazing. They truly are amazing. They put their hearts and souls into the show. I don’t know what more you could ask of anyone,” co-director Debra Buckner added.

Breathing through COVID will be broadcast on NPTV local Comcast channel 28 and Verizon channel 29 and on YouTube. Virtual streaming links can be found at npenn.org/theatre. No tickets are necessary, but donations will be cheerfully accepted to support theatre arts education and this production.

For more information, please contact Kaity Andrey at [email protected] or 215-853-1032.