PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For students at North Hills High School, the show must go on.
Friday and Saturday night, the school’s spring musical “Catch Me If You Can” debuted on a drive-in style movie screen at The Block Northway in Ross Township, almost one year after production began.
“I’m so glad that we get to enjoy everything that we’ve been working on for so long,” said North Hills senior and cast member Shea Sweeney.
Students began working on the production in November, but five days before opening night in March, Governor Tom Wolf closed all K-12 schools as cases of Covid-19 began rising in the state.
At North Hills High School, the spring musical was on an indefinite hiatus until district staff thought to film the production and show it elsewhere.
“We were able to get the cast together at the end of July,” said North Hills School District Activities Coordinator Chelle Zimmerman.
Senior cast member Tyler Dumas says they practiced and filmed under extensive coronavirus safety measures.
“We were all in different rooms,” he said. “We had to be sitting if we weren’t on stage. We had 15-minute breaks where we just cleaned everything.”
Friday and Saturday night, families of the cast and members of the community gathered to see the musical like a night at the drive-in theatre.
Those in attendance had to reserve a free parking space in advance. Reservations were capped at 100 each night.
Zimmerman said the show “sold out” both nights.
Though it wasn’t a traditional on-state performance, many proud parents saw the show for the first time on the big screen.
Cheryl Sweeney’s daughter is in the production.
“It’s wonderful to see not only what she was able to accomplish, but what our school district was able to pull together,” she said. “That was phenomenal.”
The event was in collaboration with the Ross Township Fire and Police Departments, Ross Township Parks and Recreation, The Block Northway, and Brighton Music.