In-Person Plays Making a Return


Actors performing the first part of Clue, first in-person performance since COVID-19, during cav block, opened for HBHS students/staff to watch. “The support from the community has been amazing and the entire cast is super excited to show off the time and effort we’ve dedicated to this show,” said Hersey.

Jill Bradbrook, Staff Writer

Hollis Brookline theatrically involved students are beyond thrilled about the return to in-person theater. This past year and a half, the department has held virtual theater, where the students have filmed individually and on their own. This year’s winter play, Clue, inspired from the classic comedy starring Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, and Madeline Kahn, was a live performance on December 3 and 4.

Back in 2020, when The Music Man was supposed to be performed, all of the cast and contributors were very disappointed when it got cancelled. “Everyone had worked incredibly hard to pull together a fun and engaging show and it was really upsetting to see it all crumble. It left us wondering when our next performance would be and what this meant for the future of the theater department,” said Katie Hersey ’22, an actor casted in The Music Man and Clue. Hersey has participated in all of the theater productions performed during her high school career. 

With the excitement of a return to in person theater, this year’s winter theater production was sold out. Tickets would have been sold at the door, but with the online accessibility to purchase specific seating tickets, they were all filled before the show. With Covid 19 still being a factor, not every seat was open for selection. Each group was separated by another seat marked unpickable to keep everyone safely distanced. 

Matthew Barbosa was the director of Clue and is also a teacher of music, theater, and dance at HBHS.  “Livestream options [were] available both to empower those who are uncomfortable, as well as our supporters who live in different states and countries,” said Barbosa. The in-person tickets sold for $10, student/staff tickets were $5. Individual livestream tickets were $15 and group livestream tickets were $25 for four or more viewers. All of the money went to fund the mainstage theatrical productions here at HBHS. 

The two performances for Clue were performed on Friday, December 3 and Saturday December 4. There are typically two performances held for the winter plays. There were hopes for more this year due to lesser  seating, but unfortunately there were no dates available since throughout December there are four performing arts productions being released: Clue, the Hollis Town Band Concert, Guitar Night, and the Winter Concert. 

Even though Clue is not a musical, there was an accompanist, who provided piano underscoring and background music throughout the whole show. This player was senior, Anna Musteata. “I started taking piano lessons when I was five, so I’ve been playing for about 12 years now,” said Musteata, ’22. She has been an active member of the HBHS honors jazz band, and was in the pit orchestra for Mamma Mia and The Music Man (pre-covid19). She also recorded piano music for the virtual production of The Theory of Relativity. Musteata learned 30-40 pages long of sheet music throughout the course of the fall. She did a majority of the practicing by herself but attended tech week. 

Tech week takes place the week of the play date with practices everyday starting after school and ending anywhere from 8-10 pm. The hard work the dedicated cast put into this play is admirable, and was easily observed throughout their production.

If you would like to get involved with helping to fund the theatrical productions at HBHS and missed Clue, there will be more plays performed this year announced on HBHS website in the future to buy tickets to, the students put tremendous work and time into each performance and it definitely is shown.