After-school programming looked very different over the 2020-21 academic year. The Adams County Arts Council (ACAC) redesigned the format of classes and outreach programs to accommodate challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the result of one of those reinventions is a video called The People Project 2021: Stories of the Unexpected, which will premiere on ACAC’s YouTube channel on Tuesday, May 25 at 7 p.m.
The People Project is a performance project originally created in 2017 by local theatre artist and ACAC Outreach Coordinator Lisa Cadigan. The 2021 video is the project’s fourth annual production. Past performances have been produced by Gettysburg College, live, on-stage in the Stevens Theatre, with a cast comprised of high school and college students as well as other members of the Adams County community. This year, the performance was produced as a video through the Adams County Arts Council’s youth outreach program, thanks to grant funding from the Anne M. and Philip H. Glatfelter III Family Foundation. The cast features middle and high school students from across Adams County. Video production services were provided by Redman Productions, LLC.
“While I look forward to being able to produce live performances of The People Project again in the future, converting it to a video format allowed everyone involved to think outside the box in terms of what the final product would look like,” said Cadigan. In the past, the project format has been a staged reading of first-person narrative essays on a common theme, but the change in medium allowed for a more versatile program. In addition to the author-read essays, the video project also includes musical performances, visual art presentations, and interviews of students sharing their experiences about navigating the 2020-21 school year. “It’s amazing to see how resilient young people have been over the past year, and how they have used creativity to cope and navigate these challenging times, while also learning new skills,” added Cadigan.
A majority of the instruction for the program focused on creative writing and performance techniques. Many participating students have had experiences performing on stage in front of a live audience, but this was their first opportunity to try performing in front of a camera, which is a skill that employs different techniques from live theatrical performance.
The public will be able to view the 40-minute program on ACAC’s YouTube channel at the time of its premiere and afterwards. Cadigan also hopes schools of participating students will share the video with their faculty, staff, students, and families as a celebration of all these students have accomplished over the past year.
For more information about the Adams County Arts Council, visit www.adamsarts.org.
The mission of the Adams County Arts Council is to cultivate an arts-rich community.