Today, Friday, October 30th at 3pm, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA’s) annual halloween show will stream live on the school’s website. The show features original work from the Senior Dance and Film Departments, along with some teacher cameos. Naturally, there’s been speculation as to what will be going on without physically partaking in one of FSSA’s biggest yearly traditions and the faculty agrees: Halloween is an opportunity to set a precedent at FSSA. 

“Fortunately, we’re trying not to change anything at all” says Andre Vazquez, the school’s production manager. “While we’re losing the inclusivity of a live audience reaction, the content is being made and the seniors are stepping up to say ‘this is tradition, no matter what it takes.’”

Across the board, senior filmmakers and dancers are making content from home, showing hope for the future of Sinatra’s spirit. The performance is a right of passage to seniors, motivating the class of 2021 to step up to the plate.

Just as in previous years, the Halloween Show includes original choreography from the senior dance class. Usually, these performances are accompanied by a haunting sound design and a killer light show. This year, the spectacle is achieved virtually, with students filming themselves at home to create an ensemble of online dancers.

“It’s exciting!” remarked Nicole Byrnes, a senior dance major. “It’s something you look forward to as a dance student. I have friends who even started choreographing their Halloween pieces as freshmen.” 

The final element of the spooky celebration are the Horror/Comedy films, and this year, the film department is pumping out more content than ever before. Senior Film teacher Jason Spagnuoli explained how for the Film studio, this Halloween differs from the rest.

“Usually, seniors would be in groups, but an advantage to this year’s circumstances are that each filmmaker got to create their own work independently,” he said.

While not all will be featured, each student made a horror short, turning a mixed bag of sound designers, editors and gaffers into writer/directors. A majority of the department socially distanced to help one another complete these projects.

“I didn’t need to tell [the students] to work together. It was inevitable, that’s just the kind of family we have in the department,” Mr. Spagnuoli said.

While the 2020/2021 school year has its restrictions, this year’s hallows eve celebration emphasizes that now more than ever, FSSA is #SinatraStrong. The school is stepping up to show how it intends to continue prioritizing tradition, no matter what it takes.

– by Hudson Flynn ’21