Virtual S!NG 2021

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After undergoing numerous changes and delays due to the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual S!NG competition debuted on March 5 for viewers to access through The directors of the play reflected on their experience of producing the showcases virtually.

Freshiors overall director Lisa Felson said, “Once we had agreed on the website/showcase format, that was when we started bringing the content of our show together. We finalized the script, talked with the other departments about how they envisioned their parts would look, and began planning out our timeline.”

After this announcement, directors of each department prepared and planned their own parts. 

Semores art director Jasmine Chang said, “We held meetings as directors and discussed various topics such as deciding first on a plot and genre that fits under the overarching theme of parallel universes… The other art directors and I came to a conclusion that we would give our artists more creative liberty to make art in any form that was inspiring to them, and we would put them together into a mosaic or a collage of some sort.” 

Directors of the dance department choreographed and filmed dances, allowing other dancers to follow at their own pace. Freshiors dance director Isabella Jiminez said, “We strayed away from live zoom meetings to teach because it was difficult to tell who was on time [and] who wasn’t, so we focused on sending out tutorial videos for each new piece of choreography.” 

Similarly, in the vocals department, the directors would decide on the songs and would “teach the harmonies by adding…recordings to a folder” Freshiors vocal director Marykate Wee said. Though the process looked different for each department, in the end, each part would be pieced together to form the final showcase.

Directors from both teams have expressed that communication was one of their biggest challenges they had to face this year. Semores overall director Isabella Gallegos said, “It’s hard to hold people accountable through a screen and really get people to be invested in a show that they won’t be able to see put together until the website was released.” Semores dance director Christy Han shared a similar sentiment, and said that“it is not as easy to reach a director or member through email or social media than in-person practices.” 

Other directors found it difficult to envision S!NG virtually and recreate a sense of community when everyone is apart. 

Semores vocal director Olivia Reid said, “Aside from learning video editing, which was brand new for most of us, the process of creating the show was pretty similar to what it was in the past; the real work was to reconcile our vision of what we wanted the show to look like on stage vs what we were capable of accomplishing virtually.” 

Freshiors dance director Sophia Zion also said that the boundaries created by the remote nature “made the process a lot more difficult for dancers, especially having to submit new videos every weekend which feels a lot scarier than performing in groups on a stage with all the other dancers…. [making it] more of an isolated experience, which is really the opposite of what S!NG is all about.”

Despite these challenges, after the release of the final showcase, S!NG directors reflected on the positive aspects of the process. 

Freshior dance director Angelina Kretz said, “My favorite part was definitely how everything came together and just seeing the website and how it displayed all of our hard work. I really loved the bows as well and I was so glad that many freshmen participated in S!NG and I hope that they join next year as well.” 

My favorite part of this year’s S!NG production was that it allowed me a reason to interact with people other than my family for a reason other than school,” Lisa said. “If not for my extracurriculars, S!NG more than any other, I definitely would have lost the motivation to be productive throughout this school year.”

After months of preparation, S!NG 2021 received positive reviews. Junior Sonia Hasko said, “They definitely pulled it off. The website, the synchronized videos, and the graphic art were all incredible.” Junior Brian Lin also said, “I really enjoyed the incorporation of Spiderman and Phineas and Ferb … I can tell that a lot of love and effort was put into the show.”

Despite the challenges posed by remote learning this year, Isabella J. said, “I am so glad that we found an alternative that allowed us to be as creative as possible to a level that previous S!NG’s have never been able to.”