CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — In the words of William Shakespeare: "All the world's a stage."

What You Need To Know

  • Broadway is still closed, and local school productions are closed as well
  • An audience is not allowed, under NYS COVID-19 regulations
  • Maryvale High School is creating a hybrid show, to give students — especially seniors — a time to shine onstage


“I've been in shows with the high school since I was in seventh grade," said Maryvale High School Senior student Lindsey O'Hern.

However, when writing those words, Shakespeare didn't have COVID-19 in mind.

The pandemic has kept the curtains closed on high school theatre productions.

O'Hern knows this all too well.

She was in her high school's production of 'Seussical: The Musical' last year.

"Our musical was the first weekend of March. And then our school closed on March 13, which was a Friday. They said they didn't know if we were coming back the following Monday…which we never did," she said.  

In fact, Maryvale students physically went back to school in January.

"If I knew that it was going to be my last show, I would have taken advantage of it more... lived in the moment a lot more," O'Hern added.

A couple weeks ago, The New York State Department of Health gave the "green light" for 'high risk sports' like football, cheerleading, and basketball, to be able to play — despite the ongoing pandemic.

Broadway in New York City is still closed, which is where Maryvale's high school musical director is taking her cue from.

"One of the greatest lessons of being a live actor is how to change and think on your feet," said Joanna Daigler, the musical director at Maryvale High School.

With no audience allowed right now, Daigler felt bad for her students, especially the seniors — but the show must go on.

Instead of having only a virtual Zoom show, which editing-wise is easier said than done, she's putting together a hybrid production, which will be released on video in June.

"Basically, the kids will be on the stage. We are also setting up a mini-professional recording studio for them," she explained.

Parts of the show will be filmed at home.

"Other parts will be filmed at school, so students have that opportunity to practice and film something on stage, that can be part of that show," Daigler said.  

And the show's name?

"It's called ‘Canceled.’ It's literally about how these kids find out their show is canceled due to COVID," she laughed.

Take it from Monty Python: "Always look on the bright side of life."

And that's what Maryvale's music department is trying to do.

With support from the school district for this "new" show, now it's time to make some magic happen.