Living

High-school play ‘Doom Service’ broadcast live in Fort Kent

FORT KENT, Maine — With limited seating available for in-person performances due to COVID-19 regulations, the closing night production of the high-school play “Doom Service” was broadcast live by a local TV station. 

Students from Valley Rivers Middle School, Fort Kent Community High and Madawaska High schools enacted the five-section comedy, which director Doug Clapp wrote and compiled. 

“I was really happy; I thought it looked good,” Clapp said. “The actors had their characters really well developed.” 

The play ran Thursday, Dec. 3, through Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Fort Kent Community High School cafeteria, and sold out all 35 tickets available each night.  

Seating at the cafeteria was arranged to comply with social distancing requirements and audience members all wore masks.

Chaz Pelletier of WFKTV Channel 4 live-streamed the Saturday performance for a fee of $5 to benefit the drama club, and help compensate for lower ticket sales imposed by the pandemic regulations.

Viewers from as far away as Arizona, New Jersey and Texas chimed in on the Channel 4 Facebook page to announce they were watching the event. 

“It was Chaz’s idea and he put it all together,” Clapp said of the live broadcast. 

The actors wore special safety masks, which they also wore throughout rehearsals. The clear plastic masks allowed the audience to see the actors’ facial expressions during the performances.

Clapp said he feels the masks did not hinder the actors during the live shows. 

“I think we did alright with the masks,” Clapp said. 

Fort Kent sophomore Oliver Caron said the masks became easier to navigate during play rehearsals. 

“The clear mask that we used we had to get used to, but I stopped noticing mine after a few times,” Caron said. 

Caron said he began acting last year during a Fort Kent production of “The Guest From Ambition,” and his drama experience has encouraged him in pursuing future goals. 

“I actually wanted to become a voice actor,” Caron said. “I had always thought about it but didn’t think I could do it, but since I started acting in the plays it’s given me enough confidence to work at it.”

Fort Kent eighth-grader Halle Michaud, Caron’s cousin and the youngest performer in the play, began acting when she participated in a Clapp production of the musical “Annie.” 

Michaud said she feels “alive on stage.” 

“I can be a different person,” Michaud said. It’s thrilling. I love everything about it. I love acting, singing, dancing and feeling so loved by everyone. It’s truly amazing.”

Michaud said she plans to continue acting in theater every chance she gets. 

“I’ll participate in any stage plays they have around the area,” Michaud said. 

The final performance of ‘Doom Service’ came just one day before SAD 27 announced it would move to a remote learning model for the rest of 2020 due to an outbreak  of COVID-19 at a local business.

From left, Sadie Pelletier, Hannah Chasse and Cooper Saucier perform in the play “Doom Service” at Fort Kent Community High School. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

From left, Cooper Saucier, Connor Pelletier and Oliver Caron perform in the play “Doom Service” at Fort Kent Community High School. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

Hannah Chasse (left) and Connor Pelletier perform in the play “Doom Service” at Fort Kent Community High School. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

From left, Connor Pelletier, Olorin Braun-Epp, Jana Nadeau and Cadence Hebert perform in the play “Doom Service” at Fort Kent Community High School. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

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