The Ohio Northern University School of Visual and Performing Arts will present the musical “Blocked!” from Oct. 29-31 via livestream on freedcenter.com. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 29, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Oct. 31.
“Blocked!” is the story of four teenagers trying to make connections online at a time when online is the only means they have. These four teens each face social anxieties and isolation in their own lives that are only exacerbated when schools are shuttered and in-person activities are disbanded. Through coming together over their shared interest in a funny animal video, they form unexpectedly real friendships online that weave into a meaningful support network. They find ways of leaning on each other for help, lifting each other up when they are down and providing some much-needed light in a difficult time.
Tickets are $10 per device and $5 for students. To order, visit freedcenter.com or call the box office at 419-772-1900.
Directed by Courtney Kattengell, assistant professor of musical theatre, “Blocked!” will be performed by two casts of four ONU students each, including Grant Bell, a freshman mechanical engineering and musical theatre double major from Brunswick, Ohio; Emily Estep, a senior musical theatre major from Fresno, Calif.; Madison Friedhoff, a sophomore musical theatre major from Cypress, Texas; Zachary Ryan, a sophomore mechanical engineering and musical theatre double major from Westerville, Ohio; Hailey Elswick, a sophomore musical theatre major from Woodstock, Ga.; Matthew Garcia, a freshman musical theatre major from Mentor, Ohio; Laura Jacobs, a senior musical theatre major from Beavercreek, Ohio; and Caleb Jingo, a sophomore musical theatre major from Westerville, Ohio.
Music, lyrics and book are by Ben Wexler, a New York City-based composer, arranger and teaching artist and artistic director for the Broadway Advocacy Coalition. Wexler provided additional coaching for student actors involved in this production.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety concerns, “Blocked!” will be streamed online. Utilizing popular video conferencing technology and open-source broadcasting software, the production has been rehearsed entirely online from individual spaces for each student performer and member of the production staff.