Pioneer student actors welcome back live crowd with fall comedy

  • Host Amelia “Mia” Fowler-Shaw, center, welcomes a contestant in Pioneer Valley Regional School’s production of “America’s Next Top Model ... Student” during rehearsal on Thursday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • “Contestants” in Pioneer Valley Regional School’s production of “America’s Next Top Model ... Student” during rehearsal on Thursday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Host Amelia “Mia” Fowler-Shaw, center, with a contestant and judges in Pioneer Valley Regional School’s production of “America’s Next Top Model ... Student” during rehearsal on Thursday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 11/18/2021 6:04:44 PM

NORTHFIELD — Pioneer Valley Regional School students are looking forward to bringing laughter back to a live crowd with their production of “America’s Next Top Model ... Student” on Friday and Saturday.

The play begins at 8 p.m. both days. Admission is $5.

The comedy marks a return to performing for a live audience following three productions that aired online last school year. The play, which is about a competition where students engage in a series of wacky games to achieve the status suggested in the title, will feature 15 students in grades seven through 12. Aside from the excitement of putting together an entertaining show, English teacher and play Director Brian Campbell said students have been relishing the opportunity to feel unbound from the strictest of COVID-19 regulations.

Campbell added the “very funny” production should be a relief to those who need a laugh during trying times.

“It’s a game show where students compete to become ‘America’s Next Top Model Student.’ The games are ridiculous and have nothing to do with actual academics,” he said. “I think we all need a comedy right now.”

Last year, student thespians had to get used to having a camera as their audience. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the auditorium couldn’t house the usual crowd attendance hallmark of a theater performance. Instead, performances were recorded and presented online.

“We put on three shows last year, but it didn’t feel the same without a live audience in front,” Campbell said. “It was interesting. It was different. It was fun because it was unique, but we never want to do that again.”

Campbell said that aside from the privilege of having live theater back, members of the public should attend the play to enjoy “a bunch of really talented kids bringing a lot of personality to their roles.”

“I think they’re happy to be on stage again and happy to be doing theater,” Campbell said of the students.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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