NC Standing Ovation virtually presents: Oh What A Tangled Web


Amber Roldan

NC’s esteemed theater department spent numerous hours rehearsing and perfecting their inaugural virtual performance. The talent of cast and crew members combined with hard work and dedication resulted in a successful show that viewers can access on March 11th and 12th. “Virtually rehearsing was strange, I’m so used to being on a stage or being backstage that being in my own home was a new experience. It was still very fun and I felt less anxious and pressured because instead of performing in front of an audience, I got to perform in front of my friends and I had a lot of fun,” Tonge said.

Amber Roldan, Features Editor

COVID-19 posed numerous threats and challenges for Thespians across the nation. The unprecedented virus forced shows to close, rehearsals to halt, and tore actors away from the stage. On March 12th, 2020, NC’s talented actors and actresses diligently rehearsed for their spring performance of Newsies when CCSD announced that school would be closed for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A state of panic and despair accumulated in the black box and NC’s cast of Newsies did not know what to expect in the following weeks.

 Upset about losing two weeks of valuable rehearsal time, the thought of never performing Newsies ceased to cross the actors’ minds. Unfortunately, what started as weeks spiraled into months, COVID-19 canceled Newsies, and NC’s Thespians would not find themselves rehearsing for months to come.

After six long months of adapting to living in a pandemic, NC’s theater department hosted auditions for their annual One-Act competition. NC participates in a regional One-Act Competition every year where a small cast puts on a performance in under 55 minutes. Although COVID-19 prevented NC from competing in 2020-2021’s One-Act Competition, NC Standing Ovation upheld the tradition of performing a One-Act play. To prioritize the safety of NC’s cast and crew, this year’s One-Act performance took place virtually. 

“It was such a lonely time, we really needed people to talk to; sometimes we would meet at 4:45 and would not start rehearsing until 5:30, just because we were so busy just talking to each other and catching up,” director Candice Corcoran said.

NC’s Standing Ovation director and Drama Board members chose to perform John R Carroll’s one-act comedic farce: Oh, What A Tangled Web. Oh, What A Tangled Web details a creative, twisted lie spun by 15-year-old, Jan Wilson. Jan’s older sister, Chris, works at the local corner store and wants to skip work to meet up with her crush, Tim, with whom she remains completely enamored. Chris knows her tyrant employer, Mr. Quigley would never allow her to miss a day of work. So, she asks Jan to call Mr. Quigley and make up an excuse that will allow Chris to skip work. Flustered, Jan calls Quigley and struggles to find an excuse. The high-stress environment created by the phone call leads Jan to lie to Mr. Quigley; she fibs saying that Chris can not come to work because she passed away. The news of Chris’s death shocked Mr. and Mrs. Quigley driving them to visit the Wilson’s house. Considering the beloved family cat ran away hours before, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson accept the Quigley’s condolences welcoming the couple into their home. Unknowingly mourning the loss of both a cat and Chris creates complete chaos throughout the Wilson residence.

The lighthearted, comedic nature found within Carroll’s one-act brought copious amounts of laughter and joy to the cast and crew members of Oh, What a Tangled Web during a time of anguish. 

“Performing my first show online was definitely a challenge, but in a way made it mentally easier. I didn’t have to worry too much about messing up because we could just record it again. It was weird rehearsing with strangers who were all much older than me, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because of the amazing people I have met. They were all so accepting of me and treated me like a long-time friend,” NC freshman Savannah Tighe said.

Proximity plays a pivotal role in the realm of theatrics. Attempting to perform a show without physically connecting presented numerous challenges. Numerous rehearsals and months of hard work allowed NC’s cast and crew to triumph over these challenges. Putting on a successful show required each cast member to find a blank wall to film in front of. Each rehearsal took place on Zoom. When each actor and actress memorized their lines and carefully picked out their 70s themed costumes, filming could finally take place. 

“I’m so used to physical interaction with other characters. Being in person adds a lot more energy to shows which I think we all took for granted. However, the experience was still super fun. I got to rehearse with my friends and we had a blast recording the show,” NC senior Emma Tonge said.

Director Candice Corcoran filmed each scene by screen recording on her laptop. To ensure a smooth transition between each scene, cast members needed to remember their exact position and appearance from the previous day of filming. After countless filming days and endless blooper reels, Corcoran uploaded the film into iMovie where she strategically weaved it together.

The finished product will debut Thursday, March 11th, and Friday, March 12th free of charge for all hoping to watch Jan’s lie unfold as the talents of NC’s talented cast and crew emerge. Friends and family members of Oh, What A Tangled Web’s actors and actresses can tune in to watch their favorite thespians anytime Thursday or Friday by visiting the AnywhereSeat website.

 “Although I wasn’t able to physically see them, seeing my friends through a computer screen was the highlight of my day. The first few months of the pandemic were rough, especially for someone who spent most of their week in the Performing Arts Center participating in theatre-related activities. After all of the schedule conflicts, zoom problems, and forgotten lines, I’m so happy I got to participate in my fourth and final one-act,” Tonge said.