Meet our members – St John’s School, Canada

26 May 2021

HELP! It’s a zombie apocalypse!

Well, not a real one obviously. But the students and teachers at St John’s School in Vancouver, Canada sure made us believe that one was happening through their very unique school show format of a live streamed, real-time choose your own adventure production called The Spread.

This year, COVID-19 safety restrictions posed some challenges for putting on a traditional in-person play, so the school’s Drama department, Eric Double and Josh Hatt, opted to stage an original piece of theatre conceived and devised by Senior School students from across the grade spectrum. They sat down with us at ISTA to explain how they made this piece come to life. Watch it here

Cohort groups spanning the full MYP and DP explore the idea of a Zombie outbreak at St. John’s School, allowing them to loosely play on and explore some of their experiences attending school during a pandemic. Students took on the tasks of writing, acting, producing, camera operating, production designing, and stage managing in order to make this whole school event a reality.

The play transformed the entire school into a theatre/film set where the separate cohorts performed live and were broadcast into one cohesive virtual performance, where even the audience was part of the action. Audience’s tuned in from locations around the school while the play happened around them and a unique live-voting option allowed them to affect the outcome of the play by using their smartphone to vote on the events being performed in the moment. This play was a huge undertaking but was a memorable reminder of the magic of live-performance and being together in a time when we are required to be apart. 

Watch the Behind the Screams video to see how the production was put together.

Watch the full production below. The beginning 27 minutes displays the voting website and pre-production space so you will need to skip ahead to watch.

Watch: Josh and Eric introduce the show at 27:43

Watch: The Spread begins at 37:00