Masks and social distancing haven’t slowed creativity among the student-artists and faculty at Pace Academy; instead, the new normal offered opportunities for innovation and imagination to thrive.
In December, Pace’s Upper School theatre department premiered As You Like It, a film adaptation of Shakespeare's comedic classic. Directed by Visual and Performing Arts Chair Sean Bryan and filmed by Emmy Award-winning producer Andrew Riley, a member of the Pace Class of 2010, the full-length production used the school’s expansive campus on West Paces Ferry Road to reimagine a classic while abiding by COVID regulations.
“Given the pandemic, we couldn’t put on a show with an audience, and we needed to tackle a piece in the public domain in case we had to pivot,” Bryan recalls. He settled on Shakespeare. It had to be a comedy; “I didn’t want to do a tragedy in the middle of 2020,” he says. As You Like It’s humor, pastoral setting and small cast made it the perfect fit, and shooting outside with appropriate distance between actors made it doable.
Following weeks of rehearsals and six days of filming, Riley and his team at K&A Entertainment culled the final cut from more than 30 hours of footage. As You Like It made its debut at a socially distanced event for the cast and crew and was released publicly at PaceAcademy.org/arts