Despite the coronavirus, the show must go on for theater company Kids From Wisconsin | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children

WISCONSIN — Despite the coronavirus putting a halt to all live theater, the actors from the popular young adult touring company Kids From Wisconsin, still found a way to entertain their audiences.

They put together an intricate first digital performance of the opening number from Live in Living Color.

“(It took) abut six weeks of rehearsals with the choral director, the producer, the choreographer working with the kids individually in zoom meetings,” Associate Executive Director of Kids From Wisconsin, Michael Sander, said.

The entire thing had to be done from each actor and musician due to the coronavirus. There were some challenges, like never being able to hear what everyone sounded like together since they rehearsed over Zoom meetings. (We all know what it’s like when just two people talk at the same time during a Zoom meeting. Imagine that with 36 people singing and playing instruments.)

“Just like playing the piano and then we would all mute ourselves and then we could just hear ourselves and the piano,” Chase Bucheger, a principal singer, dancer, and vocal captain of this production, said.

Bucheger would just have to practice singing on his own. He never knew what his cast sounded like all together.

It was the same thing for the orchestra. They couldn’t rehearse together. They had to rely on everyone’s own ability to play correctly.

The video and audio quality are top-notch too. You would be surprised to learn most of it was filmed on their phones.

Some actors had higher quality microphones that they shared with each other, but that wasn’t the case for everyone.

“I know one of my friends he didn’t have an actual mic and he ends up having to record with this little like Wii karaoke mic,” Nate Schmidt, a trumpet player and lead band member, said.

While these actors and musicians were still able to play and put something together, it wasn’t the same as that live theater experience.

“Now, I’m stuck at home working at Subway which subway is great and all but it’s not the same as going on the road and performing with a bunch of people who care about music as much as you do,” Schmidt said.

Kids From Wisconsin is a popular and competitive touring company to be part of. This summer, they were scheduled to perform 60 times across the state. That can’t happen this year. Instead, the company came up with this video. As a consolation, all those who were part of the show this year will be given the option to do it next summer too. No audition required.

The full video will be posted to the Kids From Wisconsin Facebook page and website. Associate Executive Director Michael Sander even said there is a chance more videos will be released.

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