Virtual summer play connects Superior classmates
When a group of Superior children couldn't participate in the annual summer school musical, they decided to write and produce a play themselves.
Drama, humor and creativity pulled five Superior students together during summer quarantine.
Starting in mid-June, the girls assembled twice a week to brainstorm, write, edit and rehearse an original play, “The Super Squad Saves the Day.” On Tuesday, Aug. 25, they performed it live on Zoom.
All the work was done virtually. The script was written on a shared Google document, with each girl writing her own dialogue. They utilized Google Hangouts and Zoom for practices.
“I’m really glad we decided to do it,” said sixth grader Amelia Vogt. “We had a lot of just like times where we kind of just broke out laughing, because there were some really funny parts we were writing out.”
Other students involved in the production include Great Lakes Elementary School fifth grader Sabrina Smetak and sixth graders Lauren Heier, Ivy Cochrane and Ava Dahl.
The plot revolves around four super girls and their efforts to fight off a villain named Dr. Food who’s attacking the Mall of America from his base at the Lego Store.
“One of the girls actually has ice powers, but all the other girls are just kind of built in,” Vogt said. “Their power is within them, like science and kindness, and one’s really good at cooking.”
Dr. Food’s evil plan involves a potion that animates Lego bricks, which then start destroying the mall. The girls each face off with him.
“In the beginning they’re working separately because they want to solve it by themselves, but in the end, they end up making this one potion with all of their specialties combined,” Vogt said.
The story weaves together drama, humor and more.
Vogt came up with the idea for the virtual play in May, when she learned there would be no summer school musical. Both she and Heier have been involved in previous productions. One year, Heier said, they even helped write the script.
“I really like acting and especially singing,” Vogt said. “It’s really fun performing, and I guess getting to hang out with my friends almost every day.”
The play gave the girls the ability to reconnect safely.
The playwrights met and collaborated from a distance. They put together props and costumes, including stuffed animal sidekicks with their own subplots and shenanigans.
“The sidekicks parts are funny. Those are probably the best parts,” Smetak said.
Their families enjoyed the show.
Vogt's mother, Susan, a teacher at Great Lakes Elementary School said she was impressed with the girls' teamwork and work ethic.
“I have just been very impressed and proud ... just seeing the effort that they all put in and the pure joy on Amelia’s face when she would meet with her friends,” she said.
The villain was patterned after COVID-19 and the girls’ desire to fight it off, Susan Vogt said. By the end of the play, Dr. Food’s curse is lifted and the Mall of America is saved, for now. The main theme of the play mirrors the creative team’s efforts.
“I guess the moral is, like, sticking together we can kind of accomplish anything,” Cochrane said. “If we all stick together, we can get through it.”