Summer has finally come to the Spring Lake Community House & Theatre. After a spring that in many ways felt endless, the dance students from Spring Lake Theatre & Dance could finally take the stage for their annual “spring recital”, albeit in a new and unique way!
With COVID-19 shutting down many activities, the future of the recital was uncertain for a long time and the dancers were only able to attend classes and workshops through Zoom meetings. But Executive Director Patricia Barry was determined to give the students the recital they had prepared for and set an ambitious plan in motion: An outdoor recital with the beautiful Spring Lake Community House & Theatre as the backdrop.
While Director of Dance, Danielle Schindledecker Wright, and her staff of dedicated teachers worked hard to organize the dancers and the recital, Michael Caggiano, Andrew D’Agostino, and Jackie Drudy tackled the challenge of moving the sound system and stage outside. Blocking off a section of Madison Avenue in front of the building allowed for seating to be placed in family groups with appropriate social distancing, organized by stage managers John Bongiovanni and Theresa Miele.
It all came together this weekend, with friends and family of the students gathering for three performances. The first recital was scheduled for Friday but had to be postponed due to a tropical storm. The weather on Saturday started out wonderfully. Even though a short rain shower forced a break halfway through the performance, both the dancers and the audience remained in high spirits, and the dancers were able to complete the recital. Sunday’s Senior Recital was even better, with a beautiful evening setting the perfect stage for the dancers. During an emotional speech made to the Seniors having their last performance at the Spring Lake Theatre & Dance, Danielle called it “perhaps the most beautiful recital yet.” Monday’s performance went equally well, rounding out a truly unique recital weekend.
The event was made possible with the help of the Borough of Spring Lake Administration, DPW and Police Department. The street outside the Spring Lake Community House on Madison Avenue was able to be safely closed for all of the performances. Special thanks to Bryan Dempsey, Chief Ed Kerr (who is the father of one of the students), and the very kind members of the DPW who added to the success of the recitals.
Keep your eyes open for our upcoming Fall schedule of classes. Spring Lake Theatre and Dance is working hard to resume classes in the fall with new safety protocols in place.