– Peter Hilton
2020 – 2021 has been a different school year for everyone. My kids are fortunate in that their school, Lake Ridge Academy, has been open for full-time, in-person instruction for the entire school year. There have, however, been key changes in the name of safety. For example, the school made the decision not to participate in interscholastic sports this year. My son was able to participate on the Middle School robotics team, with the competition submitted remotely. My daughter had the benefit of participating in the Upper School's fall play, which was staged outside in the warm autumn weather.
The Upper School musical, usually presented on stage in late February, presented a different set of challenges. An outdoor performance is simply not an option in the harsh winter climate of Northeast Ohio. An indoor live performance is also not an option because it simply cannot be executed safely within COVID-19's limitations.
So what did the school do? It adapted. Instead of performing a live, in-person musical, it spent the past several months filming its first-ever movie musical, which it will stream March 5, 6, and 7. And my daughter, Norah, has the lead role.
The show is Ranked, a brand new musical loosely based on the College Admission Scandal. It takes place in a dystopian high school where students' class ranks create a caste system that determines every aspect of their lives. The drama stems from parents buying grades for their kids and breaking the carefully maintained system. Its creators describe the show as a "modern-day anthem for stressed teenagers."
In addition to Norah and her friends performing the show, students are also filming and editing the movie. It's an outstanding learning experience all around.
The play will stream on March 5 and 6 at 7 pm, and March 7 at 2 pm. A "Live from the Red Carpet" special, via Lake Ridge's Facebook page, will precede the premiere at 6:15 on March 5.