East Hills Middle School moves its musical from the ‘big stage’ to the ‘big screen’

Written by on May 18, 2021

 East Hills Middle School moves its musical from the ‘big stage’ to the ‘big screen’

By Chloe Nouvelle

May 18, 2021

A photo from 2019 at Becky’s Drive-In. Photo | Courtesy of Becky’s Drive-In

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, one local middle school’s theater group said the show must go on. But first, they had to solve a problem: the ban on indoor, live performances. So one teacher solved the problem by going with something that was pretty popular in the 1950s.

Listen to the story.

In any other year, Bethlehem’s East Hills Middle School students would have performed the musical “Matilda” live, on the big stage in a school auditorium. 

But this year, it went on to the big screen. At Becky’s Drive-In in Walnutport.. 

East Hills Principal David Horvath says despite the challenges of pulling something like this off, his team wanted this year to be as normal as possible for students. And he says theatre means a lot to the kids here.

“We have a very strong student base for our theater and our arts and our music here, not only in the school, but also in the school district.

Kimberly Remaly,  theater director at East Hills, says this pandemic workaround that ended up on the silver screen had a silver lining. 

“it was great because the students have never been able to watch themselves on stage before. So this was the first time that they’ve been able to film the production and then actually watch their own performances,” Remaly says.  

Forty-five students were involved in the production. It was filmed in segments, she says, edited together to get it ready..

And while she’s grateful this worked out for this year, she’s looking forward to returning to live performances.

East Hills lined cars up at Becky’s drive-in and debuted this performance to a socially distanced audience earlier this month.

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