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The student website of Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California
The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The race to catch up: “Sweeney Todd” week four

In a week cut short due to a spike in covid-19 cases, the cast and crew of “Sweeney Todd” worked hard to catch up on their missed time.

In the first month of 2024, 15,000 cases of covid-19 were confirmed in Los Angeles County alone. 

This past week, the cast and crew of “Sweeney Todd” definitely felt the impact of the virus. 

With over 12 cast and crew members out sick, and half of those cast and crew members testing positive for covid-19, Mr. Justin Baldridge was forced to make the difficult choice of canceling rehearsal on Monday, Jan. 29. 

“The day before I got notified that two different cast members had covid and three or four were sick, I started to reevaluate what I had planned,” Mr. Baldridge said. “And then by Monday, when even more were sick, I decided that we had too many holes in the cast to make a rehearsal effective. So I let everyone take a day off to rest to ensure nobody else got sick.”

Now, canceling one rehearsal might not have been the end of the world for the cast, if it meant that the following day, everybody would be back and ready to work. But still, over a week later, the entire cast has yet to get back together, making rehearsals incredibly difficult.

Between balancing absent cast mates and struggling to ensure the remainder of the healthy cast didn’t get sick or vocally damage themselves farther, Mr. Baldridge’s whole rehearsal schedule for this week was thrown into chaos.

“When I lost a rehearsal day, I had to find an alternative to replace it,” he said. “I sent out a survey to students to ask when I could add a rehearsal and that ended up being Friday, Feb. 2. It still gave me anxiety because our Sweeney is going to be out for three days in a few weeks, which led me to add yet another on the 10.”

“Sweeney Todd” is set to open in just over a month, meaning the cast and crew have no time to lose.

The cast continued to rough stage the show and learn the music to big ensemble numbers.

Sophomore Dillon Patton believes the setback actually benefited the cast, forcing them to have the drive to make up for lost time. 

“I feel like this gave us the motivation to work harder,” Patton said. “This scare really made us wake up and realize how much we have to do and how little time we have to do it.”

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About the Contributor
Madison Thacker, Arts/Entertainment Editor
Madison Thacker is junior who's embarking on her first year in journalism. Her journey through the performing arts started at just 5 years old, and today, she's ever-present in the performing arts magnet at VNHS. Beyond the spotlight, Madison has dedicated over eight years to the Girl Scouts, earning both bronze and silver awards for her commitment. As high school nears its end, Madison's plans point to a UC education, where she plans to major in education and minor in child development, shaping young minds for a brighter future.
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