Ever wondered what might cause the entire audience at a play to collectively fall unconscious? Find out April 14-17 at 7 p.m. when Claremont Secondary’s drama students perform the thrilling, documentary-style play, TRAP, via livestream.
The school’s year-long drama class, comprised of 22 students in Grades 9-12, has been preparing to perform the “meta-theatrical play” about a group of fictional high school students, who are performing a play when their entire audience is knocked out and – through interviews with witnesses, first responders and investigators – the peculiar series of events becomes clear, explained drama teacher Colin Plant.
“(Even) if you’ve seen a lot of theatre, you’ve never seen a play like this,” he said.
Plant selected TRAP, written by Stephen Gregg, for students to perform this year because the script allows actors to be well-spaced and requires little physical contact. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the four performances will be virtual and no audience will be permitted in the auditorium. The cast and crew will use lighting and multiple cameras to simulate a documentary performance live on-screen, all while wearing masks and following public health orders.
This year has given “a new meaning to ‘the show must go on,’” he said.
Claremont’s annual spring musical was also performed via livestream in March and was well-supported by the community, so Plant and the performers are hopeful this play will be a hit too, as audiences await the twist ending.
Grade 12 student Noah Gallant is disappointed his eighth and final show as a high school student won’t be performed for a live audience but is grateful for the chance to put on the play at all.
“What we have is better than nothing,” said the teen, who plays a caring but dim firefighter named Ephrain Salas, who’s convinced something paranormal knocked the audience out.
Claremont’s Ridge Playhouse is where Gallant fell in love with theatre and while saying goodbye with an audience-free performance will be bittersweet, he “wouldn’t trade this for the world.”
Plant noted the students have been so resilient during a difficult year and it lifted his spirits to be able to work alongside such “talented and passionate kids.” He’s looking forward to seeing how much they’ve “evolved as performers” when they hit the stage on opening night.
To register to watch a live performance, visit claremont.sd63.bc.ca. Tickets are $10 per household. TRAP is not recommended for young children as some themes may be somewhat scary.