The Arts in Isolation


Paige Bostic, Reporter

As nationwide isolation continues, the majority of activity has ground to a halt for students. The online learning platform keeps academics open but provides little change at many teens’ households. This new lifestyle has been difficult for classes and extracurriculars typically working with in-person meetings that provide hands-on learning and social activity.

A notable organization that fits these standards is the LHS Choir, in which students not only work on improving themselves but with others to create a well-balanced team of trained singers, and the Drama Club, which emphasizes collaboration among students and teachers to create productions for all to enjoy. Students like junior Shaina Feinstein, who is in Chamber Choir, Drama Club, and Educators Rising, all of which require collaboration and dedication, is among those who continue to work hard, both in academics and a collection of clubs. 

submitted by Shaina Feinstein
Shaina Feinstein, who is in Chamber Choir, Drama Club, and Educators Rising, all of which require collaboration and dedication, is among those who continue to work hard, both in academics and a collection of clubs.

Feinstein, like other teens, is used to schoolwork assigned via the internet, along with using Zoom for classes, clubs, and church.

“I like to stay involved when I can, so if one of my classes or clubs does a Zoom meeting, I like to participate in that,” Feinstein said. “I also keep in contact with my friends so we can discuss classwork and help each other.”

As the school year slowly continues behind our screens, socialization remains important – as is helping fellow students. The need for communication extends past academics, and for Feinstein, she is helping those working in the performing arts.

“I was also working on a musical for my church, which was recently canceled and pushed back to summer of 2021,” she recalls. “But before we knew it wasn’t happening, I spent time working on choreography with my partner over FaceTime.”

Countless productions across the country, from school productions to Broadway, have been postponed or closed down, leading to uncertainty in actors and crew. Feinstein expressed relief for the LHS spring play, Clue (of which she was an actor), for ending at its expected time.  

“I feel very grateful that we were able to finish Clue before we had to start isolating,” Feinstein remarked. “I’ve seen friends whose shows were canceled or pushed back, and I was part of two other shows at my church, one pushed back to August and the other to June 21. It’s upsetting and a little difficult because we have [already] put in so much effort, but now we have to take several months to a year-long break from them. With as much work and effort we put into Clue, I’m glad we were able to finish it and put it on stage.”

For those who are going to wait for their shows to be restored, many teens along with Feinstein have kept up theatrical habits to keep their skills sharp. This also extends to work in the choir, which requires rigorous practice. 

“In Choir, we still had to do work for the class to get a grade, so we have to practice anything from sight-reading to working on solo pieces for 100 minutes a week,” states Feinstein. 

The Drama Club, of which Feinstein is a member, continues to keep its communications up in a time when its creative work grows limited by a lack of in-person work. 

“With the Drama Club, we have had Zoom meetings just to get together and chat,” says Feinstein, as an important time for the club draws near. The club has continued business as usual over the internet for both teachers and students involved. “We are doing Executive Board elections, so everyone running submitted a video of their speech and we’ll vote sometime this week,” adds Feinstein. 

As academics remain important on the online platform, Feinstein also maintains her grades and attentiveness in her schoolwork, not hesitating to stick together and help others who need to study with others, “especially since a lot of us are preparing for AP tests.” As the school year comes to a gradual end, Feinstein has laid out her plans for the summer. 

“[I plan] to spend this time, and the rest of the summer, trying to better myself so that I can go to my senior year as the best version of me. By [the time we get back], we’ll all be able to spend time with our friends again and it will feel a little more normal,” says Feinstein in regards to an eventual return to normalcy. “There are also several events before the beginning [of] school like SLAMM day and Freshman Orientation that will allow us to get back together at school,” she concludes. 

When (if?) school is back in session in the fall of 2020, not only will there be a return to studying and homework, but a return to creativity, teamwork, and friendship. Students, both incoming and returning interested in the arts can look forward to classes like the Choirs and the Theatre Arts programs. When the study of the arts returns with us in schools, so will concerts, musicals, art shows, and everything in between. While we remain in our homes and wonder about the future, we, like, Shaina Feinstein, have a lot to look forward to.