In the 608: VAHS musical going virtual this week

VERONA, Wis. – The Performing Arts Center sits empty at the brand new Verona Area High School since its opening, but it’s not stopping the theatre students, like senior Rachel Neviaser.

She’s one of many part of a virtual production being put on this week, instead of the normal in-person event scheduled for last fall.

“I had to really reach deep inside myself and search for that intense love of theatre and say no matter what I’m still going to bring that to people, because people are going to watch this and people are going to enjoy it as long as you put your all into it,” Rachel said.

VAHS is calling it “A Grand Night For Singing” as it features songs from many favorite musicals. Being that it’s a virtual pre-produced show, they were able to find ways to incorporate the brand new high school that many folks in the community have not been able to see quite yet due to the pandemic.

“Verona usually does their musical in the fall, and we learned very quickly that that was not going to be possible in-person this year, and so we had to pivot really quickly and get a plan together,” said director and choreographer Brian Cowing of VAHS. “We just wanted to create an opportunity for students this year. It’s really important to continue the legacy of Verona High School and that’s what we did.”

Rachel says it’s a fulfilling feeling being able to finish out her last year of high school strong after such a weird last fifteen months.

“I think that it would have been super disappointing to a lot of people to not have that, because that’s such an integral part of a lot of people’s life,” Rachel added. “It’s also such an integral part of our school’s community. I think we have a very strong theatre department and we have for a long time, and I’m really proud that we could pull this off, and if anybody could do it, I figured Verona could.”

Rachel is headed to UW-Madison next year to major in history. Even though theatre isn’t part of her future career path, she says the benefits of being part of this in high school will be everlasting.

Their shows are primarily funded through ticket sales and contributions from area businesses, so instead of tickets they’re asking the audience to make donations to the VAHS theatre department.

The performance will be available to stream Thursday, May 27th through Saturday, May 29th.

Tickets are free and can be reserved here.