Rep Theatre prepares for live production of “The Spongebob Musical” this June


Emily Wyrwa, Feature Editor

It’s been over a year since the curtain fell on Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School’s (SPFHS) production of “Chicago: High School Edition.” A year of navigating the world of virtual and hybrid theatre to give students opportunities to keep the arts in their lives during what has been the most challenging year for theatre in modern history. A year of reminiscing. A year of counting the moments until live theatre could possibly be safe again. 


On June 4, 5 and 6, 2021, SPFHS students will stop counting the seconds, making their long-awaited return to the (outdoor) stage in Repertory Theatre’s production of “The Spongebob Musical.”


“I am so excited to get to audition for ‘The Spongebob Musical’ and get to finally perform live on stage after a year doing what I love with the people I love,” junior Sherin Kachroo said. 


SPFHS is among the first ten high schools in the nation – and the first in New Jersey – to have the opportunity to perform this title. Repertory Theatre received special permission from the writers of the musical through licensing agency Concord Theatrics.   


“Social distancing and live theatre are not the best companions,” director Morgan Knight said. “However, the Rep staff has been hard at work developing a plan to rehearse and perform  ‘SpongeBob’​ while adhering to health guidelines. Every aspect of the show – from the singing, dancing, staging, costuming, orchestration and scheduling – has to take COVID-19 into consideration. We have to rethink everything​!”


Per NJ outdoor performance guidelines, the Repertory Theatre production team plans to combine a “hybrid” rehearsal model – including remote, indoor and outdoor rehearsals  with appropriate mask-wearing and blocking – to ensure “The Spongebob Musical” is a safe production. 


Knight is excited about the opportunities presented by the outdoor venue. “The Spongebob Musical” will be performed on the Perry Tyson field at SPFHS, the logistics of which are “immense,” according to Knight. 


“The outdoor space means ‘Spongebob’ ​can have a live audience, something we are so excited to make possible,” Knight said. “Let’s be real; everyone is sick of Zoom plays and remote productions. There’s something magical about live theatre. Being able to present ‘​Spongebob​’ live is so exciting.” 


As always, the production team aims to put on a quality production, while keeping their performers, crew and pit members safe. Beyond that, the team is looking forward to spreading a bit of joy following such a challenging year. 


“[​‘Spongebob’] has poignant moments about community, discrimination and friendship, but overall ‘​Spongebob’ ​is lighthearted and carefree,” Knight said. “All it asks of its audience is to have fun and laugh! So many friends and neighbors have experienced loss and isolation this year. Theatre has the power to entertain, uplift and heal. If Rep can bring some joy to the students and the community, it’ll all be worth it!” 


To support Rep theatre, the production team hopes community members will like their Facebook page and visit their website, They also encourage interested community members to purchase an advertisement in their program by contacting Randi Sosny-Handler at [email protected]


Ticket information for “The Spongebob Musical” will be available soon! Both in-person and live-streamed options will be available to audiences.  


Photo via SPFHS Repertory Theatre on Facebook