Northbrook Park District Performing Arts staff got creative when theatre venues closed due to the pandemic, delivering a new kind of experience for youth actors. 

 The Northbrook Theatre Youth Company is excited to present The Show Must Go Online, a virtual musical created through Beat by Beat Press. The show is available for viewing on the Northbrook Park District Facebook page and YouTube Channel. 

The plot centers on students who rally around their drama teacher to save their annual musical while the world shelters in place during the pandemic. Ranging in ages from 8-14, the cast began rehearsing for the production entirely online during the summer. 

“One of the most interesting things about putting together a virtual show was allowing the actors to take creative control over their characters—setting the scenes, creating costumes and bringing in new ideas at every rehearsal,” said Performing Arts Supervisor Drew Kambach, the show’s director. “This virtual experience was extremely collaborative and allowed for a lot of individual attention that is usually difficult with a traditional production.” 

Kambach said the show includes a series of monologues, with each actor having the chance to create a special moment for their character. 

“When compiling the videos together for the final production video I was so impressed with the showcase of talent each actor brought scene after scene,” Kambach said.  “It’s also provided many laughs and a sense of community that we all are so desperately missing in our lives right now.”

While The Show Must Go Online is virtual, Northbrook Theatre Youth Company has planned a live production this fall of We Are Monsters with an outdoor performance at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Meadowhill Park October 30. The Theatre Company is also producing a second virtual musical Super Awesome Happy News, with rehearsals beginning September 22. 

For more information, visit nbparks.org or call 847-291-2993.