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Tuck Everlasting goes virtual

by Ruby Grossman-Sartain

The show must go on! Through determination and innovative thinking, Lizi Watt, Jules Busch, and the Marlborough Performing Arts Department have found a solution that allowsMarlborough’s middle school play, Tuck Everlasting, to be performed. 

The Marlborough theatre department has gotten even more creative. Instead of a live performance, Tuck Everlasting will be performed as an audio drama or a radio show. To prepare for this show, the students acting in the play recorded dialogue and music at home, which Watt and Busch then weaved into one coherent piece. “We always think about theatre as visual performance, but originally it was oral-based… I have enjoyed working on a play that goes back to its roots,” Watt said.

This solution to continue the play is inventive, but like any production, there were some setbacks.

“Though the students have all been great sports about everything, I think that they are definitely sad to be missing out on the community aspect of this production… Now all of the work they are doing to record is solo work,” Watt said. 

After receiving the lead role in the middle school production of Tuck Everlasting, Dalton ‘24 knew that she could shine on stage. After just finishing the all-school play, Dalton ‘24 tried out and got the part of Jesse Tuck. When she heard the news that her time on stage was replaced with a radio show, Dalton said, “I didn’t want to lose the amazing connections with the cast and memories we would’ve made.” 

Despite the fact that Tuck Everlasting wouldn’t be presented in the way she first imagined, she still describes her experience in the theater department in an optimistic way. 

“I love theater at Marlborough. Everyone is super close and there are a bunch of traditions that come with each show. I think that made the cancellation of Tuck even harder,” Dalton said. New innovations have been brought to the forefront with this online show, especially regarding the double-casting of the lead character. 

“We were originally supposed to each get our own shows, with our double cast, but of course, they weren’t going to do two radio shows, so they split the lines in half. It’s hard recording a scene right in the middle of the script before you’ve done the beginning, and it taught me a lot of new skills in acting.” Dalton said. “At first, I had to grieve the fact I lost half the show, but now I’m happy that I got to learn from the experience.” 

The performance is premiering on Monday, May 18th, and will be shared with the Marlborough community through a virtual meeting.

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