A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Cancellation of Performing Arts


“A couple of my classmates and I are in the Apollo Indoor Percussion group, and when we found out it was cancelled, we were devastated. I remember the exact moment I found out: I was at the orchestra and band concert, after my performance, and I checked my phone, and there was a text saying that WGAZ (Winter Guard of Arizona) cancelled the rest of the season. We had a competition the next day. I remember having to tell my friend who didn’t have his phone; we cried together,” Junior Hannah Shideler said in regards to the cancellation due to COVID-19. All of the performing arts shows including but not limited to the Dance shows, Ice Cream Social and band/orchestra concerts were cancelled in order to keep everyone safe from the Coronavirus. Many of the Greenway students involved in the performing arts expressed their opinion on the matter.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to postpone the dance show to a later date,” Greenway Dance teacher, Ms. Berg, said in regards to the cancellation for all performing arts shows. “This was a district decision, and I stand by this decision. Again, as hard as this is, the safety of my students, their families, and especially my own family is what is most important to me. The dance program was not the only program to experience this kind of loss due to the closure, there is also choir, band, NJROTC, etc. who are all experiencing the same kind of loss.”

“Well, honestly, I’m pretty upset about it. School, in general, getting cancelled is pretty upsetting too but having been working so hard over the year to just have it go down the drain and not be able to perform or show off what you’ve learned sucks,” Junior Reese Tate said. “Every single person in performing arts has put blood, sweat, and tears into what they’ve practiced and it sucks that we can’t even finally put it all together. I hope some way that we can just go back for a week to say goodbye, maybe do those shows if things start to clear up and calm down. But for now, it’s the memories that count and the people we experienced them with.”  Tate was a part of the Dance program as well as a Choir student, so the Ice Cream Social and Dance shows were cancelled for her. When asked about the time spent learning for these shows, Tate said, “for the dance show, we’ve been preparing since literally the first week of school. For choir, some songs since fall and the others we started after fall break. The Ice Cream Social we hadn’t started working on, but we were supposed to once we got back from spring break.”

“It’s a mixed bag of emotions,” Theater teacher, Mr. Losenicky, said. “Clearly, I understand the need to social distance and performances would most definitely violate this protocol; however, I enjoy so much about all the productions we do. Demon Drama had to cancel the Staff Improv Show, Spring Adaptive Theatre Show, Play Production One Act, as well as our Improv Show, but most importantly the Thespian Banquet and Induction. With my job, I’m not only involved with the shows we do for Demon Drama, but I work with all the shows we do in the Auditorium as well, including the Dance Show, Band and Orchestra Concerts, Honors and Awards,  and a number of rentals from off-campus.” Mr. Losenickey believes it was the best choice for the safety of the students as well as the people watching the productions that take place at Greenway. Many people also wondered if projects from this year would roll over into next year in which he said, “no, it isn’t a continuation of this year, just because we didn’t get to finish this year out.”

Performance Company dancer, Senior Josmara Garces, said, “I am very upset since I had been in dance all four years of high school and was looking forward to experiencing the dance show as a performance dancer. This way, people are safe and the lives are not at risk. It’s upsetting that the dance show was cancelled, but I would prefer it being cancelled than worsening the spread.”

Senior Marissa Hendrickson, a theater student, said, It’s upsetting, to be honest. Theater was my getaway place and knowing that I won’t be able to participate in any more shows or help any other preforming arts out sucks, especially since this was my last year at Greenway. I wanted to be able to end it with a bang and make my mark in theater, but I didn’t get the opportunity to.” Hendrickson said it was a great decision to cancel the shows; “with the virus going around, no one should take any chances.” She also said the illness would spread rapidly with so many people in a crowded area.

It is unfortunate that these shows were cancelled, and it is tragic that the students will not be able to show their dances, songs, and skits to the world. What matters most is that everyone is safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

To quote Ms. Berg, “It is so important that we continue to be strong and safe during this scary and uncertain time.”