LE ROY — Everyone is connected, in one form or another. Consequences for actions ripple outward.
Students at Le Roy High School will be putting on “The Theory of Relatively,” a musical about how everybody is interconnected with each other. The show comes from Drama Desk Award nominees Neil Bartram and Brian Hill.
Musical Director Jacqueline McLean said the production based on interviews done with young adults as they were in college and reflecting on experiences they had in their lives.
“It’s the concept of what you do affects everybody else around you and what happens to you affects people around you as well,” she said.
McLean said the characters are young adults, allowing for the cast to connect easier to them. She said the show goes through a variety of experiences young adults go through from finding a girlfriend or a boyfriend at college to parents going through a divorce, and how that affects a young person.
During the summer McLean said the production team and herself sat down, not knowing what they would be able to do at that point. Still, they wanted to make something happen. They decided it was better to do a remote show than to plan something they would need to be in-person for and find out they couldn’t do it at all.
They came across “The Theory of Relatively” because – while it was a full show – at 90 minutes it was short enough that students could handle filming and editing the show to present on a virtual platform.
“It gave us the flexibility to video different scenes separately and to have kids video at home,” she said.
McLean said the scenes were done with lots of small groups. The large scenes where cast members are all coming together were done virtually.
“It’s been a really rewarding experience doing it this way and the students actually built a different skill set than what they are used to using when we did live productions,” she said.
McLean said the idea of acting when nobody is watching is a hard thing to do because as a performer the adrenaline is built through the applause and energy in a venue filled with an audience. She said it was almost as if the actors are on a movie set. The crew this year were the videographer and editing software utilized to do preliminary edits to scenes.
Editing was one of the challenges facing the production. Numbers which have multiple people singing a song needed multiple videos edited together and also timed so the actors were singing in unison. McLean said those technical challenges were worked through with professionals.
In a video, Bartram and Hill said “The Theory of Relatively” evolved from an idea to create a work for younger actors.
“We wanted to write something for young performers in high school or college who are often asked to play much older or younger than themselves,” Bartram, the show’s composer and lyricist, said in the video on the site of the show’s licensing agent, Music Theatre International.
“Not only did we want performers to be able to play their own age, we also wanted them to access experiences they could understand,” he said.
So in developing their show, Bartram and Hill spoke with young performers. They expected to hear stories about their careers or their dreams of performing on Broadway. To their surprise, the stories talked about friendships, family, relationships, and finding their place in the world.
Those stories developed in a series of songs that turned out to have similar themes.
The “seemingly standalone songs and stories eventually tied together to become a statement on human connection,” said Hill, the writer.
The show will be streamed online. The stream will be available at 7 p.m. April 8, 9, and 10. The show is rated PG as it has some sensitive and moments that cover young-adult content. Tickets, which start at $10, are available https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/48404.
For more information, go to www.leroycsd.org.