Upper School Theater and Film Students Collaborate for the Nutcracker Play, the First Time in Flint Hill History


By Jerry Gao, Deputy Editor

As the regular school schedule resumed, the Upper School Theatre Program announced its annual production of The Nutcracker, one of Flint Hill’s most popular theater productions, which involves performers from JK to 12th grade and members of the faculty. However, due to the inconveniences caused by the pandemic, the program had taken an innovative approach to this year’s play, partnering with the Upper School Film Program for a virtual performance. 

The play is being filmed in the Upper School Gym, with lights, cameras, and a green screen. Performers and dancers alike will gather in front of the green screen at a safe distance from each other and wear masks that are integrated into their costumes. Each scene in the play will only have two to three performers, as a safety precaution. As soon as they finish filming it, the film students will stitch the play together with unique backgrounds, color grading, and special effects. They hope to release the virtual play before the holidays for all to enjoy.  

Senior Rowan Kelley, one of the play’s directors, said, “We are filming the play digitally, and everyone is coming here on their off time. We’ve got a full crew ready to go, and it’s amazing to see how involved and supportive everyone is. They’ve been giving us their best efforts. We are using lights, a Black Magic Camera, and a green screen. I look forward to doing more productions like this in the future, and hope that the Flint Hill Film and Theatre program will be better and better every year.”

In a way, the virtual play can accumulate more of an audience, as people no longer need to go to the Lower School’s Olson Theatre to see it. This year’s experimental approach will undoubtedly yield insights about future plays and provide a memorable experience for those involved. All in all, it is delightful to see aspiring art students pursue what they enjoy and be the beacon of joy in someone’s darkness during this time of crisis.