Abilene ISD plans for band and theater productions this spring

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has not been easy for students to participate in the extracurricular activities they know and love.

“Not only do we try to keep our students safe, but we want our audience to be safe and distanced,” said Abilene ISD Fine Arts Director Jay Lester.

According to Lester Abilene ISD is working on creative solutions to give students involved in band and theater the opportunity to showcase their hard work in a safe way.

“Cooper will be producing a radio play, complete with sound effects, and Abilene High will be producing Hamlet, by Shakespeare outdoors with masks, and with the use of a sound system,” said Lester.

Lester says streaming the theater productions will help create a safer atmosphere for students and those in attendance.

“We’ve also picked shows that have smaller casts, and we will not employ the use of a live orchestra,” said Lester.

Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young says the experiences students get from these extracurricular activities are indispensable.

“It’s important that these kids get the opportunity to perform. So we’re excited to be moving forward even if in a little bit limited fashion,” said Dr. Young.

Lester says they usually have about 75 people attend each show, but this year they are limiting the audience to 50 people for their outdoor performances.

“We’re not having audiences live in our facilities right now, but I’m not going to say we won’t do that in the future. But at this time we’re not doing that inside schools and closed spaces,” said Lester.

According to Lester marching bands will hold halftime performances at football games this year, but the performances will be shorter than they have been in past years.

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