A ‘Last’ that Never Happened: How COVID-19 stopped my last St. Joe performance

Following the St. Joe administration’s decision to close school until April 17th, ‘Sister Act’—the annual spring musical—was cancelled. For many of the production’s participants this was upsetting. However, for students like senior Lake Dodson, this was their last chance to perform on the St. Joe stage.

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Lake Dodson, Guest contributor

Little Women was my first ever show. I remember I was right stage manager, and I would liken myself to a hawk. I made sure that no one was slacking off, the props were on set in time, that I was sitting eyes wide open and ready for the next opportunity to get something right. That was my freshman year, I am now a senior, and have went through a myriad of different plays, different directors, and a different group of seniors every time.

I have had many roles throughout my years of St. Joe theater, listed below:

Right Stage Manager in Little Women

Vlad Vladikoff in Seussical the Musical

Tock in The Phantom Tollbooth

Bun Foo in Thoroughly Modern Millie

Lord Leonard Aster in Peter and the Starcatcher

The Mayor in Bye Bye Birdie

Curtis in Sister Act

I wanted my senior year of the place to be the best yet, I was so excited that I learn my lines and solo song in record time. But I would not get to perform it.

This virus, has affected the entire world on a drastic scale, also affects us locally. For us seniors this was supposed to be our year, my year, the year that I would win best representative and Best Bill at youth legislature, the year that I would be one of the six to represent Mississippi on a national level in Chicago congressional debate, that I was supposed to be the star of the show and spread my arms against a glaring spotlight and thunderous applause.

But that’s gone now, we are in the fourth quarter and the prospects aren’t looking good, but I would still say there is hope. Even in these most unfair circumstances. The fact that we were juked from these themes seeking experiences only makes me hungry, hungry for more recognition, hungry for more achievements, through what I can only describe as a robbery of the glory of what it means to be a senior, and whatever the future holds after I graduate, I can only emerge with a greater tenacity for acclamation and affirmation than any other senior in the past would.

‘Sister Act’ was originally scheduled to open in late-March, but was postponed to April 16th before being canceled.