With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking people to cancel gatherings of 10 or more people for the next two weeks, or hold events virtually, many students have been left with school musicals, performances, and plays that will never make it to center stage.
So Broadway star Laura Benanti took to social media to be their audience.
“Dark times for all. Trying to find some bright spots,” the Tony Award-winning singer and actress wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “If you were meant to perform in your High School musical and it was cancelled please post yourself singing and tag me. I want to be your audience!! Sending all my love and black market toilet paper.”
Here are a few of the standout performances.
Khadija Sankoh, junior, Union High School
Jamie Naragon, teacher and drama club adviser, Maumee High School
Gina Shaw, mother to Annika Bergstrom-Shaw, eighth grade, Glenfield Middle School
Isabelle Perez, senior in high school
Los Angeles, CA
Campbell Coker, junior, Rochester High School
Leia Millan, junior, and Zachary Anglemyer, sophomore, Pocono Mountain East High School
Brendon Bowser, freshman, McQueen High School
Jennifer Mariselli, mother to Maraia Mariselli, eighth grade, Orange County School of the Arts
Santa Ana, CA
Nathan Diaz, senior, Dr. Phillips High School
Kelsey Euler, acting coach, Broadway Kids Studio
Benanti’s call for performances elicited more than 2,700 responses to her tweet as of Tuesday afternoon, and thousands more responded using the hashtag #SunshineSongs.
The videos from students and parents include plays, musicals, choirs, and many other displays of artistic talent that won’t ever reach the audiences they were intended for.
But, if nothing else, they’ve now basked in the social media spotlight.
🔗Looking for more stories about the coronavirus? Try these.
- We have live blogs going with up-to-the-minute news in Chicago, Detroit, Tennessee, and New York City.
- We’ve collected tips for easing the burden of school closures on students with disabilities, tips for talking to children about the coronavirus, and answers to your questions about parks and playdates.
- New research illustrates some of what’s at stake when schools close: leaving health care workers without child care.
- School districts that close but continue to offer instruction remotely must make that instruction accessible to students with disabilities, the federal education department made clear last week. That’s going to be a real challenge, and some state officials and disability rights advocates are encouraging schools to fully close and make up the time later.
- States might also be able to scrap their required annual spring tests for closed schools. Those changes could have ripple effects, with rules that require states to identify their lowest-performing schools also being put on pause.