WILMINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic is forcing schools to rethink how they approach many aspects of education, with music being one of them. Ursuline Academy Theater is no different.
The group, consisting of students from Ursuline, Salesianum School and Cab Calloway School for the Arts, presented its fall musical, “Songs for a New World,” at Cool Springs Park behind the school. There were two shows in October and one in early November after rain postponed the final original date.
Joe Louden, the coral arts and theater director at Ursuline, said all rehearsals were done outside on school grounds. He worked with the city of Wilmington to have the performances at Cool Springs Park. He was pleased with the way things worked out.
“I think that it was super-important for the kids to offer this outlet not only to themselves but to the community. People are yearning for some sort of normalcy,” he said.
“Songs for a New World” was written by Jason Robert Brown and published in 1995.
“Each one of those songs represents some sort of conflict or change in one’s life and how one works through,” Louden said. “It seems sort of appropriate for the COVID world we live in now.”
The microphone stands were placed about 10 feet apart from each other, with a bag of disinfectant wipes at the base of each. The performers wore masks while they sang and were required to wipe down the microphones after each song. They were just happy to be out there, Louden said.
“It was a great gratification being able to perform. The kids were really pleased,” he said.
The performances drew families, friends and members of the community. The finale was staged under blue skies with unseasonably warm temperatures.
Ursuline will likely continue to seek out opportunities to use Cool Springs Park, Louden said. The theater group is now practicing for Christmas. They will be singing at Winterthur and also a tree-lighting ceremony at Ursuline.
All photos by Mike Lang unless otherwise noted.