When public health measures around COVID-19 forced the closure of two of its shows – Frozen Jr. and Xanadu – just weeks before their opening nights, Burien’s Hi-Liners Musical Theatre (HMT) had to rethink how they would keep their stage lights on until it was clear to gather in person.

They quickly moved their classes online and even produced two virtual plays, with students and instructors adapting along the way. Their latest production

Emma: A Pop Musical – which will stream online from this Friday, Jan. 1 through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 – is one that has evolved into an online show like no other.

Unlike most online shows where musical numbers kept performers in a Zoom-like box, the characters in Emma are seen interacting as if they were filmed in the same room, thanks to the magic of green screen.

“It’s a hybrid between film, music video and live theater,” said Kathleen Edwards, HMT artistic director.

The 14-member cast is comprised of students ages 12-16 from all over South King County, including Burien, West Seattle, Normandy Park, Auburn, Des Moines and SeaTac.

“These kids have certainly been challenged. We would rehearse live via Zoom, but they would film on their own in front of their homemade green screens with lights borrowed from all over the house,” Edwards added. “But the fun part is they get to watch themselves in the show at the same time as everyone else, which is something you can’t do in live theater.”

Tickets for Emma: A Pop Musical are on sale now and cost $15 per person or $30 for a family. The stream will be available to watch for 24 hours after purchase anytime starting this Friday, Jan. 1, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 until midnight. To purchase or stream on Broadway on Demand, go to www.hi-liners.org.

About Emma: A Pop Musical
Emma, a senior at Highbury Prep, is certain she knows what’s best for her classmates’ love lives. She is determined to find the perfect boyfriend for shy sophomore Harriet by the end of the school year. But will Emma’s relentless matchmaking get in the way of finding her own happiness? Based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, this new musical features the hit songs of legendary and iconic singers like The Supremes, Sara Bareilles, Natasha Bedingfield, Katy Perry and more.

Here’s a preview video of a musical number from the show:

The Hi-Liners Musical Theatre is a nonprofit organization established in 1966 that provides musical theatre productions and performing arts classes, workshops and camps for students ages 3 and up in South King County communities. For more information, visit www.hi-liners.org.

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