BAR HARBOR — Any potential conflict between opening night of Mount Desert Island High School’s production of “Into the Woods” and a football playoff game has been eliminated thanks to a compromise ironed out by school staff.
“This is a great spirit of cooperation between the arts and athletics,” Principal Matt Haney said this week. “It says a lot about our community and our school.”
Opening night for the drama department’s annual fall musical is Friday, Nov. 10, the same night the high school’s football team may potentially face an opponent in a Northern Maine championship. Last fall, the two events were held at the high school the same night.
“It was not something we were prepared for,” Haney said.
Not only were there issues with parking, musicians in the pit orchestra were forced to choose between performing for the musical and playing in the pep band for the football game.
“It was not a good move, and it ultimately made the kids choose,” said Casey Rush, an English teacher and the director of the theater department.
Parents and others also had to make a choice.
“Really, people want to go to both events,” Haney said.
Last week, after it became apparent that the Trojan football team was the number one seed in the playoffs and would be hosting playoff games, Rush huddled with Haney and Athletic Director Bunky Dow to develop a game plan that would ensure a win for both thespians and athletes. That involved a slight schedule change for the musical to accommodate football Coach Mark Shields’ desire to play the game at night.
“It does give them a remarkable advantage playing at night,” Rush said.
Shields agreed to forego a game on Friday night and schedule it for Saturday night instead. Rush consented to moving the Saturday night performance of the musical to the afternoon.
“This is an agreement we all hammered out,” Rush said. “It gives the kids a chance to do both.”
Of course, the Trojans will have to win two games to get to a Nov. 11 game. On Friday, they face John Bapst in the first playoff game.
Performances of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “Into the Woods” will now be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10, 17 and 18. Matinees are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Nov. 11, 12 and 18. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors and $5 for children six and under.