Ossining Theater Students Present Pandemic-Friendly Virtual Drama Bake-Off

Ossining High School students Aya Abdallah and Marlene Funk perform in the “Wait for Me (Reprise)” from the musical “Hadestown” during the Ossining Drama Club 2020 Fall Bake-Off.

The Ossining High School Drama Club held its 2020 Fall Drama Bake-Off on Nov. 20, streaming students’ films live on the district’s YouTube channel. 

Teacher Jessica Beattie, the OHS theater director, changed the annual fall drama production into a playwriting and film production/festival experience because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea is based on award-winning playwright Paula Vogel’s Bake-Offs and the National 10 Day Film Challenge. For the Ossining Bake-Off, each student film had to include four “ingredients”: a bottle of hand sanitizer, a virtual experience, a light in the darkness and an empty space. Students used those ingredients in creating short plays and monologues that were their responses to 2020. 

Ossining High School student Marco Felipe in “COVID Carpool Karaoke,” part of the Ossining Drama Club Fall 2020 Bake-Off.

The Bake-Off included 15 films that ranged from “The 2020 Year in Review” monologue and “COVID Carpool Karaoke” to “Undercover God: A Comedy and Drama” and a performance of the musical Hadestown’s “Wait for Me (Reprise)” by the OHS Musical Theater Class. 

“This process was a bit nerve-wracking but super exciting at the same time. As theater kids, we’re so used to doing everything on stage and performing for large audiences,” student Marlene Funk said in a video at the conclusion of the Bake-Off. “But taking in this new concept of film was very different than what we’re used to. However, being able to make all these great memories was so fun for us and we’ll also take with us all the techniques we learned through it – directing, learning to act on camera, editing.” 

The event was scheduled to include a drive-in movie experience at OHS along with the livestream, but the state’s designating Ossining as a COVID-19 yellow zone required the school to postpone that event. 

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