Technology features added as Crestview takes stage in ‘Anastasia’

Morning Journal/Deanne Johnson Crestview cast members of Anastasia rehearse one last time Thursday.

NEW WATERFORD — As if climbing back onto the stage without masks or COVID-19 protocols is not exciting enough, Crestview High School is upping the game with this weekend’s performance of Anastasia.

The story of a young woman believed to be the daughter of the last czar of Russia, Anastasia includes loss of identity of a young woman and the Grand Duchess, as well as their dreams of finding each other one day.

In addition to showcasing the talents of Crestview’s students and a live pit orchestra, the musical performance over the next three days will feature two technologic additions rivaled by what someone may see at a professional Broadway theater.

The background on the stage will come to life with video projected images to aid in the telling of a Russian princess, helping the crew to transform the Performing Arts Center into the opulent palaces and ballrooms to various other locations from Russia to Paris.

The $24,000 projector and software package that creates the scenes came through grants and donations starting with a large donation from the Columbiana Community Foundation. Crestview Director Eric Bable said the remaining money came from grants and donations from local businesses and individual donors.

Additionally, a large turntable in the center of the stage provides movement beyond the walking and dancing of the actors and actresses. That software and turntable came courtesy of additional donations and grants.

Bable said the new technology and software packages that makes them work provide students with even more experiences in theatre, bringing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) into another realm at the school.

After spending the last two years with opportunities in theater being limited due to the pandemic, the students are excited to get back onto the stage for a musical performance. Only two classes of the high school know this as the way it was.

“We’re just so excited to be doing this,” Bable said. “No restrictions. It feels like we’re back.”

Tickets remain available at the door for all three performances this weekend at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, as well as 2 p.m. Sunday.



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