Back at the beginning of 2020, we had started working on the Frozen Jr. musical theater production and then COVID-19 hit just prior to performance dates and this was so disappointing for our cast of 55 youth. A year later and by following a strict protocol, we were able to pick back up with 35 of the original cast members and do a modified version in a safe way for 2021 without sets relying on storytelling, costumes, and lighting to create the magic. My directing partner, Stephanie Jessup, and I collaborated to create the same compelling production in a more reader’s theater / concert style format. This was a growing opportunity for everyone. What I personally learned is that the use of mask coverings required the cast to practice articulation at a heightened level. The result! When they took their masks off to perform, the diction and quality of musical tone were outstanding. I would use this technique again with another musical theater cast as it taught me that by creating a little disruption at the mouth, it required them to me more articulate resulting in clean, crisp diction so the audience could understand the musical story.

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