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Wilsonville High School Theatre Department polishes online performing skills with 'TRAP'

Something unthinkable has happened: Everyone in the audience of a school play falls unconscious. Everyone, that is, except one person.

"TRAP" takes place in the small town of Menachap, California, where the high school theater company interviews residents after they experience a strange attack by humanlike creatures called Pharonocs. The series of documentary-style interviews with witnesses, loved ones and first responders unravels a mystery no one saw coming.

Wilsonville High School's theater program brings the show to community audiences in the comfort of their own homes. COURTESY PHOTO: WILSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE DEPARTMENT - Director Jason Katz coaches sophomore Keira Kerner for her scene in 'TRAP.'

Performers aren't letting their inability to perform in front of a live audience disrupt their plan for a fall play. COVID-19 health restrictions required the group to get creative with how they present the production. Instead of a livestreamed play over Zoom, they decided to prerecord the production, allowing them to present their audience with different camera angles, special effects and sounds.

After rehearsing for three weeks over Zoom, the 18-person group started filming in-person one-by-one last week. The technical team will edit the production to give at-home audiences a movie-going experience. COURTESY PHOTO: WILSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE DEPARTMENT - Junior Shay Moore performs her scene while Junior Cian Lister, seated, reads his lines. John Fitzgerald brings his cameras and know-how from the WVHS Broadcasting Department to support filming the play.

Junior Lizzie Hall plays Gwendolyn Heche, the detective charged with unraveling the mystery.

"She's trying to figure out what went down," she said of her role.

Hall said the prerecorded format has allowed the actors to do things they wouldn't if the show was live.

"It's been odd, but it's actually cool to get to do a different format," she said. "You can be more creative with shots and angles that (don't) work on a stage."

She's been involved with Wilsonville High School's theater program since her freshman year.

"I knew I wanted to do it. I joined right away," Hall said.

She said she especially loves her role in this production as a detective because it's something she'd never get to do in real life. COURTESY PHOTO: WILSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE DEPARTMENT - Senior Ethan Sarin performs his scenes for John Fitzgerald and Jason Katz.

"I love just being on the stage and getting to take on a different role that's not myself," she said.

The WHS production of "TRAP" can be viewed at home at 7 p.m. Nov. 5-7 with the purchase of an individual ticket for $6 or $24 for a family of four or more.

"I think that people should see our production because all of the actors and our crew has put in a lot of time and hard work in this show to make it just as amazing as an onstage show would be," Hall said. "I'm really proud of what we've done with everything."

Concession "snack packs" also will be sold the day of the show from 3-4 p.m. at the high school.

Visit https://teachtix.com/wilsonville to purchase your ticket.

"TRAP" is appropriate for ages 10 and up.


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