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THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE: POW WOW 2021 Interview with Mr. Jeff Clark

Brooke Youngblood as Dolly

SEE A SPECIAL VIDEO FEATURING "DOLLY" - THE TALENTED BROOKE YOUNGBLOOD - AT THE END OF THE STORY!
 
Q&A By Indian Hill High School Student Experience Journalist Vandita Rastogi
 
Pow Wow has long been a tradition here at Indian Hill. The show is annually held in February, but due to the pandemic, it has now been shifted to April. Since the production is coming up, I decided to interview Mr. Jeff Clark — Indian Hill High School vocal music teacher and the Pow Wow show director — on what it has been like to run rehearsals and produce the show during these times. 

Vandita Rastogi (VR): Can you tell us a little bit about the show “Hello, Dolly!”?

Jeff Clark (JC): This show is centered on Dolly Gallagher Levi, a widow who has been so busy fixing other people's problems that she has herself put others' needs before her own. Through the show she realizes that it is time for her to rejoin the human race and find love again. I think we all can relate to the need of wanting to live life again, before the parade passes by! 
 

VR: How does it feel to produce a show in these times?
 
JC: Just like we all are experiencing on the spot learning, no one teaches you how to navigate putting on a live performance during a pandemic! It has been difficult yet also very rewarding to see just how dedicated our students have been to endure changing schedules and timelines in order to keep the "wow" in Pow Wow. More importantly, just seeing those stage lights on again and the applause of an audience will make it all worth it! 
 
VR: How are students practicing amidst the pandemic? How is the morale being kept high as a group?

JC: We've been trying to keep it fun, and I have great support staff who I think are balancing the technical demands with also the light-heartedness we all need. We practice often split out in smaller groups, with full group singing only recently returning. 

VR: Are there any traditions that are being kept the same? What has changed?

JC: We have Pow Wow families and groupings of students that has kept on, and more traditions yet to come this year that we will likely maintain. Once we hit tech week, there's so much excitement as things all fall into place. The costumes, the set, it will be incredible. We've had some Zoom rehearsals and social events, but we've luckily been able to maintain a pretty regular in-person rehearsal schedule, except it has been more spread out with our later performance dates! 

VR: How can the public get tickets? What can viewers expect to be the same/different?

JC: We will have limited seating this year due to the state orders – right around 200 people can see the show at each performance. Tickets have been mostly sold, but the few remaining ones will probably go fast — March 31 tickets went on sale to the public. 

VR: Any other information you would like to add?

JC: I'm so proud of the students for their flexibility and perseverance to make this happen. Nothing feels as good as a job well done, and I know the final performances will be a hit! Don't miss your chance to see Pow Wow! 

Once again, tickets are almost sold out, so purchase yours before the run out! Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the following link: bit.ly/IHTheatre (PLEASE purchase the SMALLEST possible pod of seats that will accommodate the number of seats in your party. Thank you!). Our show dates are April 15-17 @ 7:30 pm and April 18 @ 2 pm! We hope to see you there!