Hurrah Players turn to online classes to connect with their students

Hurrah Players
Posted at 2:58 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 14:58:58-04

NORFOLK, Va. - We’ve all had to learn how to adapt to life spent mainly at home, and that includes the Hurrah Players.

The theater company has moved from the stage to the computer.

“We, like everyone else, had to google 'what is Zoom?'" said General Manager Kelsey Backe, "and then we realized it was going to be great for our students to use.”

With Zoom video conferencing, they now regularly hold classes so their students can still see each other and their instructors.

"They miss each other, so this is important to them," said founder Hugh Copeland.

They started with choreography and dance class every day and have since added a vocal class and 'Hugh's News' to update people on what's going on in the theater world.

"So many Broadway things now are streaming that they may not be aware of that they can watch for free. The shows they love now are available and the people who do these shows are doing home streaming," said Copeland.

They've even started a once a week public workout class.

“I got a great email that one of our student’s grandmothers was on it, doing it at home,” said Backe.

One class that they opened up to any Hurrah Player, past or present, had 70 people on the call from four states.

Backe says parents have sent them emails about how important the classes are to their kids.

"We’re bringing some normalcy to their lives. They know everyday at two there’s a Hurrah class they can take. Every Wednesday at three, it’s 'Hugh’s News.' It’s giving some structure to these families at home and it proves that we’re more than just a place that you come, that we’re a community, that we’re a family and kind of a way of life," said Backe.

"And they’re not just normal kids," Copeland added, "They’re very active, creative, crazy imaginations, so they have to have these projects to keep working on all that."

They have more projects in the works, including a virtual storybook reading series.

Their students are picking out books and costumes and practicing their character voices.

Their readings will be then shared several times a week on various social media pages, like Pembroke Mall’s Facebook page, where little ones at home can watch.

They hope to be performing shows again soon, but for now they're making the most of their time apart.