NEW RICHMOND -- Though the format is different, New Richmond High School still has the chance to perform an online play this year.

“Everything Seems Like Maybe” is a monologue play featuring work written by real teenagers during the April 2020 stay at home order.

“They are reading others teens’ work, just as a comment on what was going on during that time period,” Director Ashley Steiner said.

The performance was required to be virtual, Steiner said, so the format of this play fit well.

“This play actually worked out really well and my students really wanted to do this because of what they were actually going through,” Steiner said.

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New Richmond students were learning remotely when the play itself was recorded.

“It was just kind of fresh for them,” Steiner said. “And all of them had lived through it so they kind of understood the emotions that were coming through the parts they were reading.”

Steiner said she enjoys the interconnectedness of the performances. The works tackle big questions and reflect on what’s going on in society and what it means for communities.

“I like that you don’t even need to ask where these people are writing from, you just know that their experience is something similar to our students and our own teenagers that we have in our lives,” she said. “As a teacher, it’s kind of nice to have them have their own voice, even if it’s not their own word.”

The digital monologue format was unlike anything Steiner had done before. Students filmed their segments at home, and then submitted them to Steiner. She and a few other students then worked on editing those into the final product.

Technology provided a few hurdles, from connectivity to audio issues.

“But it was interesting to see how the students took on these challenges,” Steiner said.

Sophomore Madeline Bark said she appreciated the chance to participate in a virtual production.

“It has been very fun and interesting preparing for this virtual performance, because of some of the new things I have been able to learn and struggles with technology,” Bark said.

Junior Maria Flom said preparation was often stressful as she dealt with internet crashes, but they did have more time and takes to make it perfect. The virtual process also gave Flom an opportunity to learn more about expressions and wording as they were not all in the auditorium working together.

“This virtual experience has let me learn more about how to word stuff, which parts I had to pause and sigh at, or what expression I needed to show, to let people know what that character was feeling at the moment,” Flom said.

The students all stepped up to the challenge, Steiner said. Many were appreciative to have a show at all.

“A lot of them were elated, like very happy to have something,” she said.

Sophomore Madelyn Evans said the play has been fun and enjoyable.

“Though our show may not have been in person, I am very happy she offered the opportunity of doing a show and we are still able to share it with everyone,” Evans said.

“Everything Seems Like Maybe” will premiere online at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, and will be available through the weekend. IT can be viewed at tinyurl.com/NRHSmaybe.