Variety Show Goes Digital

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Sophia Liporace, Executive Managing Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the School to get creative with how they choose to carry out traditions. As opposed to the typical Variety Show where hundreds of members of the Benjamin community gather together to perform, this year’s Variety Show will be presented in a movie format and filmed over the course of exam week.

In the past, the Variety Show has been a way for performing arts students, faculty, parents, and alumni of the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools to come together and put on a show to help raise money for BASH, the School’s yearly fundraising gala.

Acts typically include performances from the band, dances from the middle school dance team the Sparklers as well as the varsity dance team the Dazzlers, music from the chorus, and skits performed by the Drama Club.

This year, however, all of these performances will have to be recorded individually and spliced together to portray a realistic and cohesive show.

Performing Arts Department Chair Sara Salivar will be overseeing every aspect of the process.

“The show is called Silver Jubilee, a Musical Review, celebrating our 25th Variety Show anniversary. Unfortunately we will not be able to perform live in Benjamin Hall, so the show will be in a movie format. We will show it on Saturday, January 6 at 7:00 pm under the stars. It will be a “flashback” of some of our favorite VS numbers and will include new numbers as well,” she said.

Due to the new format, some acts were unable to be incorporated into the show. The Lower School strings players and Middle School dancers will still be able to participate, but the production number comprised of students from each grade of the lower and middle school will not be happening due to the School’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Since this is the last variety show for the class of 2021, some seniors such as senior Briley Crisafi are reminiscing on their past experiences.

“The variety show is something I’ve looked forward to being a part of every year since coming to Benjamin. It’s such an amazing example of the way that art can bring people together and deliver so much joy,” Crisafi added.

However, this is not the way Crisafi wanted to say goodbye to Benjamin Hall.

“I’m of course sad to know that the event won’t be a live show this year — what I love about performance is being able to feel an energy from the audience. We’ve obviously had to adapt in some huge ways to online and pre-recorded mediums in these past months, and I’m very interested to see how this will play out for Variety Show,” she said.

Even though this is not the usual Variety Show experience, the performing arts department has high hopes for this year’s show.

“Everyone needs to bring blankets, lawn chairs and refreshments and we hope to have a great turnout. We had a great experience with the Drama Club movie “She Kills Monsters” and we are doing a similar format with the Variety Show,” Mrs. Salivar said.

“I love variety. I love Benjamin. I will definitely be there,” said Sophomore Kaleb Rolle.