The Quaranteens

An Original Virtual Play


After the COVID-19 pandemic closes school and turns their worlds upside-down, a group of high school students are left to grapple with issues such as social isolation and the loss of activities and opportunities while attempting to come to grips with their own uncertain futures.




On March 13th, 2020, the South Milwaukee School District made the decision to shut down school until (initially) April 13th due to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic. That very same day, SMHS Theatre’s Tuck Everlasting was planned to open. Students were allowed to perform once for their families, but the rest of the run as planned was canceled.

The one-off performance was a special evening, but still left a sense that there was unfinished business for our theater students.

There was a desire to put together some kind of performance project for the spring despite the mandates of social distancing, using the technology and resources available to us, and thus THE QUARANTEENS was born. A group of students in the school’s Thespian Society volunteered to take part in the project.


The general concept for the show was that students would play fictionalized versions of themselves, recording video logs about their feelings and experiences during quarantine as part of a school assignment.

The first phase of the project was collecting those feelings and experiences. In a shared Slack channel, students responded with feedback to different categories, such as “Social Isolation,” “Loss of Opportunities,” “Experiences in Public,” “Dealing with Negative Media,” “Uncertainty of Future,” “Online Schooling” and “Signs of Hope.” They provided their own feelings, emotions and experiences in these categories, and found it to be a rather cathartic experience.

The next step was developing a script. Based on the ideas students provided, as well as other current events, SMHS theatre director Tim Backes wrote a script that features a series of monologues and events for each of the 16 students. The idea was that each student involved would have some sort of arc or journey that would be described in monologues over the course of the 90 days the play covers.

Upon completion of the script, we held a full virtual read-through with the cast on a Zoom call, and since then have been engaged in individual one-on-one half-hour long “rehearsals” via Zoom. Once prepared, students will record their individual parts of the show to eventually be stitched together into a single cohesive production.


ALEX: Alex Trevithick
ANNA: Anna Basha
BRI: Brianna Gaidosh
CARA: Cara Jenquin
ELI: Eli Lindner
GEORGE: George Vajagich
ISA: Isabella Bravo
JP: Jacob McCown
KAL: Kal Knight
KAYLYN: Kaylyn Hipsley
LIA: Lia Krystowiak
NATASHA: Natasha Bernovich
OWEN: Owen Smith
SHELBY: Shelby Morgan
SHYANN: Shyann McIntosh
SONONA: Sonona Haring


Expect the show to be completed and released digitally sometime in May. It will be available to anyone in the public to watch, and posted here on this website as well as on various social media platforms.