Masked Up

Cast Switches to Clear Mask

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Samantha Chase

Tied Down While performing, Cora Rogers (23) holds Christian Wintle (21) still. “Wearing masks has made performing harder,” Wintle said. “But it has not affected the quality of the show.” He played the role of a play writer.

Despite the uncertainty of this school year, the One Act cast and crew still practiced and performed at the same intense level as always. Hoping to earn their eleventh consecutive State Title, the cast performed “Something Rotten” without being unfazed by the added safety precautions.
While rehearsing, masks were required by all production members in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks brought unique challenges to the cast when performing because of the goal of portraying strong emotions and enunciating every word.
“Working around masks is extremely challenging for stage acting because the audience is so far away from us so our facial expressions need to be huge and it’s hard to do that when two-thirds of your face is covered,” senior Trey Leasure said. “To fill an entire auditorium with sound so the people in the back can hear, you have to be really loud and overdo your dictation. Masks can muffle your sound so it almost feels like you have to yell your lines without damaging your voice.”
Starting with Thanksgiving Break, the cast were given clear masks in order to better display their emotions. This new style of mask made the show more engaging for the audience, but gave cast members unique challenges.

Shocks and Shakespeare
Wearing his clear mask, Trey Leasure (21) can show his shocked facial expression. “To fill an entire auditorium with sound, you have to overdo your diction,” Leasure said. He was a member of the One Act cast for four years (Delany Jepsen)

“We wanted our audience to be able to see the kids’ expressions,” One Act director Ms. Carole Carraher said.
The clear masks allowed the audience to focus more on the performance rather than the face coverings. For female lead junior Chloe Irwin, having a clear mask made performing more challenging, but was better than traditional masks.
“It can be super difficult to breathe because the clear plastic can get sucked up into your mouth,” Irwin said. “It can also be difficult because of fogging and when you speak, you sometimes spit and that is super gross. I hate having spit in my mask. Overall, I think they’re better though. They show our facial expressions more and they’re not that uncomfortable.”
Despite the uncomfortableness of wearing a mask while performing, the One Act cast carried through to perform “Something Rotten.” The State One Act Competition is scheduled for Dec 11.