B&FC Amy's Zoom-azing achievement

Published on 16/04/2020 by DTHACK

Blackpool and The Fylde College undergraduate Amy McKay didn’t hesitate when faced with one of the greatest challenges of her student life.

The Musical Theatre student had been working hard for weeks on a dance performance requiring intricate choreography.

And then lockdown happened.

That’s when the real drama began.

Amy’s energetic production was loosely based on Come From Away, a West End musical charting the stories of 7,000 global travellers grounded in Canada in the wake of 9/11. Amy and the musical express how the small Newfoundland community invited these 'come from aways', as they were known, into their lives – and to share life-changing moments.

Amy explored through her work isolation, feeling trapped, and ultimately the sense of togetherness – sentiments familiar to us all as the nation readies itself for an extended bout of lockdown.

Quick-think Amy considered her options. The show must go on, she decided.

Which is where technology threw out a lifeline.

Amy adapted her plans and assembled her ensemble section for a production like no other. Trapped in their houses, artists would perform miracles – using the video conferencing service Zoom to bring everyone together.

In her introduction to the performance, Amy said: “I really struggled when all this happened with just understanding what's going on.

“I express my feelings through dance and through singing. So I was like, ah, I can't do that anymore.

“You know, there's no space to do that.

“And then I was like, You know what? Do it. Just do it!

“Just do it in your living rooms, do it in kitchens and see what happens.

The experience opened the eyes of Amy and her peers to opportunities previously untapped.

“People don't need to be, you know, in a big dance room for something to be impacting,” said Amy.

“You don't need lights, you don't need sound. It's the characters and the people that matter the most.

“This whole experience has really helped me with this whole studying at home and remote learning.

Tutor Dawn Harris said: “Amy felt completely heartbroken thinking she will probably never get to see her creation realised on stage.

“It seems so unreal that due to our current situation students are experiencing the same themes Amy was exploring in her piece.

“It was emotional for all of us watching her dancers come together and rehearse in isolation.

Amy is hoping to return to Blackpool and The Fylde College in September and perform her piece in the Park Road theatre.

Watch Amy’s astonishing achievement - and hear from the woman herself – in the mini documentary below.