Show goes virtual for Annisquam Village Players

Courtesy photo:The Annisquam Village Players will present a virtual musical production on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m., for a free one-time-only viewing that runs roughly 35 to 40 minutes featuring about 50 performers. The link will be made available through its website and Instagram. 

In the quaint village of Annisquam, the annual theatrical production of the Annisquam Village Players will go on, albeit in a virtual fashion and not entirely a full musical.

But on Thursday, Aug. 6, at 7:30 p.m., there will be a one-time-only viewing that runs roughly 35 to 40 minutes featuring about 50 performers who will sing eight songs popular on Broadway, in addition to a dance number. The link will be made available through the website https://annisquamvillageplayers.com/ and Instagram.

Terry Sands, a long-time director of the Players, gave a shout out to Keith McCarthy and Sara Lehman for their tech services to put this show together working with myriad submissions from the performers and piecing together the visual and audio to combine the voices of the performers singing from their homes to create the full package.

"The main thing is to carry on the tradition. We didn't want to go a year without doing anything," said Sands. "This is free and we are calling it our AVP gift to the community."

The Annisquam Village Players have done summer productions going back to 1917.

"In April, when we realized we couldn't do the annual show, I sent an email around to previous cast and posted it on the website, and in 48 hours I had 50 responses. And we started an Instagram in January and we already have nearly 700 followers," said Sands. "This has been a totally different process than anything I have ever experienced. They have rehearsed with no theatrical direction except a Zoom meeting and a pep talk."

There have been some positive aspects to this process.

"One of the nice things is that people who go back 20 and 30 years as past cast members have said they have been meaning to come back but haven't had the opportunity, but this online process is something they can do it," he said.

Claude Deering submitted his performance from his home in the Los Angeles area. Another performer, Asher Weiss, was 4 years old when he last performed with AVP in "West Side Story." He is now a college graduate and eager to be part of this virtual production.

"The creative part of doing this online show has been a wonderful learning experience," Sands said. "In fact, I will incorporate some of the things I've learned into the show next summer."

Sands himself will perform with three of his grandchildren, and one is flying a kite.

The production will include a tribute to frontline and essential workers, of which Sands noted three people who have been active with the Players are part of that group — Fred Lovejoy, Linda Wrinn, and Nadia Robertson. There will be a brief introduction in that spirit that will lead into a special song. he said.

"We hope this show will bring joy to others," he added.

On a side note, Sands mentioned that a couple of Annisquam restaurants are offering take-out meals to go home and watch the show and support local businesses at the same time. For those who are members of the Annisquam Yacht Club, it is offering this service; and Talise Restaurant (the new restaurant on the Annisquam Harbor, formerly The Market) is offering a 15 percent discount with the promo code POPPINS15. 

For more details, visit annisquamvillageplayers.com.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2706, or at gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com.

Recommended for you