Determination, passion and creativity are what sets Mater Dei Prep’s (MDP) Seraph Players apart from the rest. The award-winning Performing Arts Program attracts many talented students each year, and under the guidance of Mrs. Cindy Dwyer, Director of the Performing Arts Program, those talents are nurtured, developed and showcased. Unfortunately, as was the case in many schools across the state and country, the performing arts program was brought to an unexpected halt this past March when the school was suddenly forced to switch to virtual learning. As the new school year began, the challenge was to find a way to showcase students that complied with new regulations, limits and guidelines.
The Seraph Players of Mater Dei Prep are proud to unveil their new outdoor stage! Located on the spacious front lawn of the school, the stage will give students the opportunity to perform in front of an audience while maintaining social distancing and other safety measures.
Mrs. Dwyer came up with the concept for the outdoor stage a few months ago. “It was very important to me to keep the program alive, and to get my students in front of a live audience. It was even more important to do it in a way that would keep the students and the audience safe,” she said. “I knew it had to be outdoors, and fortunately Mater Dei is blessed with a large and beautiful front lawn that offers a perfect venue for a stage. The administration was extremely supportive, and with the approval from the MDP COVID-19 Task Force, we began construction in mid-August.”
The safety of the students and the audience is of primary focus. The stage is designed with six levels, which makes it easier to distance the performers during a show. The audience will bring their own chairs, and will be required to sit six feet apart in their family groups. The front row will be at least 15 feet away from the stage, and all audience members will wear masks. Performers will be masked when not on stage, and will have temperatures taken before each show as protocol.
The hard work of building the stage was completed by the dedicated and talented team of Jim Vail, Jon and Sherrie Cole, and Ken Dwyer. Mr. Vail and the Coles are the parents of Mater Dei Prep Seraph Players alumni Nora Vail (’16) and Griffin Cole (’18). “We are so lucky to have these amazing parents. Their children may have graduated, but they remain committed to the program, and have given us countless hours of their time,” said Mrs. Dwyer. “Sherrie Cole in particular has been a tremendous asset to us, and works tirelessly to help make the Seraph Players experience the best it can possibly be.”
The parents of current students have also been extremely supportive, donating supplies and refreshments, and volunteering their time. The Lombardo Family, whose daughter Alexis (’21) is part of the Seraph Players program, graciously donated and created the beautiful landscaping around the stage to complete the entire atmosphere.
The students and parents are thrilled to have a fall performance season, and with a published fall schedule, the Seraph Players cannot wait to get back on the stage doing what they love!
Updates can be found on the MDP Performing Arts Facebook page. To be added to the Seraphs Players mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org