Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music Turning Musical into Movie

During the 2020 Academic School Year at Baldwin Wallace University, the Conservatory of Music will be converting the Fall musical “Spring Awakening” performances into a movie to be accessed virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Conservatory’s production of “Spring Awakening can be viewed virtually from November 18, to November 21. The filming is happening all around campus, the rehearsals are socially distanced, and the music for the production is from a live string orchestra.

The musical can only be viewed by purchasing a ticket for the four nights of the performance, said Susan Van Vorst, the Dean of the Conservatory of Music.  The filming process is happening in sections all over campus.

“It is really fascinating, the story of how this is all unfolding.  They are actually filming this in segments around town, over by Coe lake, on campus, doing different scenes in different places.  Ultimately what will be produced is the musical virtually,” she said.

She has watched some segments and said it looks fantastic. Due to filming, the audience can get up close to the actors.

The way the production is being recorded; the camera angles make the audience feel a part of the story.  The audience is able to see more details then they would be able to if the musical was performing on stage, she added.

The production is similar to the live/tv versions of musicals due to the audience seeing headshot singing.

“When they do tv or movie versions of musicals, it is like that, and it is amazing to get up close with people singing/headshot singing, and you would never see that on the Kleist stage if you were sitting in the audience,” said Van Vorst. “It is a completely different experience, but it is really going to be cool.”

Throughout the rehearsal process, the orchestra is practicing outside under the giant white tent by the Conservatory, said, Van Vorst.

Students are following social distancing regulations during the rehearsal process and are wearing masks, said Erika Haskell, the Conservatory Concert and Special Events Manager.

“They also have to keep in mind current safety protocol such as mask wearing, 6ft distancing, and ventilation times.  Conservatory students have been excellent stewards of our safety protocol,” said Haskell.

Students are wearing the masks, and they are social distancing when at rehearsal.

Due to social distancing, the orchestra can only consist of a string ensemble.

“The symphony orchestra has been reduced to just strings this year because, with the spacing requirements that we have, they cannot fit any more than that on the stage,” said Van Vorst.

The rehearsals are impacted because there are no wind and brass instruments, only strings.

Finally, Van Vorst said that the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory’s production of “Spring Awakening” is going to be amazing.  She said that it is a gift to still make music as a community during the pandemic.  Van Vorst said, everyone is being respectful, thoughtful, and they are following the rules to keep one another safe.