In spite of COVID-19, and even because of it, the Carolina Forest High School drama department will perform its “Holiday Spectacular” Saturday, Dec. 19, at 3 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 20, at 3 p.m.
“We’ve never slowed down, never even slowed down,” vocal music director Kraig McBroom said about the singers, dancers and choreographers. “We just got everything in line and said, ‘Yes, let’s do it.’”
Those choreographers are Erica Pike and Jessica Hawver.
“There were so many in our sweet community who called and were sad they would not get to see us this year. So, Principal [Gaye] Driggers and I decided this was something we needed to do for the kids and for the community, and they can come and feel safe,” McBroom said.
The performances will be outside, rain or shine, in the stadium parking lot on a rented stage that has a back and a canvas roof, and with sound and lighting provided.
All the parking spaces will have two empty spaces between them to allow for guests to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on if they want to get out of their vehicles.
There is room for 87 cars in the general parking area, but there are additional spaces if needed in another area.
And, for those even nervous about putting their windows down, the performances will be broadcast over the radio.
When guests enter, they’ll be given instructions, told about the COVID restrictions, and told which radio station to tune to. The performers will be under tents if it should rain, but McBroom said they are literally praying it does not.
“The purpose of ShowCase is to bring joy to others and to spread positivity, and we believe it’s our duty to still bring that joy during tough times,” said Ashlyn Adcock, a 17-year-old senior.
Colton Bray, also a senior and also 17, agrees.
“We’ve had a lot of tough times this year with people not being able to be with their families and we want to bring something happy to people’s holidays,” he said.
Instead of the cost of $7 per ticket that the school’s performances usually cost, the price is $20 per carload, at the gate.
“If it’s a family of three or four people, they’re paying less than the $7 per person,” McBroom pointed out.
Along with precautions to be sure guests are safe, the students have been wearing masks during rehearsals and social distancing whenever possible.
There will be new arrangements of favorites including “Deck the Halls” and “Holly Jolly Christmas” as well as classics such as “Gloria” and “Santa Tell Me.” The expense for this show is high, and even a sell-out for each of the three performances will not cover the cost.
The students performing in the “Holiday Spectacular” are in the combined women’s and intermediate groups, and many of them have had fundraisers to help with expenses.
Because the show choir’s Florida excursion was cancelled because of COVID, money raised for that will be put towards the “Holiday Spectacular.”
If the drama department did not get permission from the school district to hold this event, it would have been videoed and presented in that format.
McBroom said the kids are excited, he’s excited, and he hopes the community will be excited and leave the performances both joyful and happy.