by Janelle Camba
Junior, Kempsville High School
On March 12, Kempsville High School’s The Addams Family cast held their final dress rehearsal. Leaving the auditorium that day, I won’t forget telling my friend, “I’ll see you tomorrow, on opening night.” Only a few hours later, I learned that my statement was incorrect. All extracurricular activities were canceled, and opening night was farther away than I thought. A few weeks went by and all hope was lost when the governor announced the closing of all schools.
To say I was devastated would be an understatement. The news crushed me. Sure, I was only an ensemble member, but theater played a large role in my life. Through the spring musical, I found a community of others like me and formed unforgettable friendships. Learning all our hard work would never see the light of day hurt the whole cast, especially the seniors who wouldn’t get to return next year.
Worst of all, this was meant to be my final musical at Kempsville High School. Next year, my plate is full with dual enrollment classes, a senior internship, heavy coursework and many other responsibilities, leaving little room for frequent rehearsals.
Afterward, my mental health took a bit of a downturn. Being unable to see my theater friends after the cancellation took a toll on me. Not only did we lose our show, but we couldn’t even meet face to face.
However, I ended up adjusting to the change with the help of technology. Of course, texting my fellow cast members isn’t the same as hanging out after school, but it definitely helped my mental health. In order to adjust, I had to keep in mind that our theater community still exists without the physical theater. We shared great memories during rehearsals and onstage, but there are still more to make when we return to school.
Above all, I’m proud of the work everyone put into the show. From principal actors to backstage crew, we gave our heart and soul to this project. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything and I’m glad we created a show we could be proud of.
“When Schools Are Closed” is an ongoing guest column that anyone in the VBCPS community may contribute to. If you are interested in writing about how the school closing is affecting your daily routine, please contact Sondra Woodward in the Department of Communications and Community Engagement.