A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Upper school students transformed the fall play into a virtual, interactive experience, complete with an engaging website and a cutting-edge Zoom performance. Twenty-one students presented "Lucy Westenra is Not (and Will Never Be) a Vampire" from 20 different locations on October 28-30, 2020. The play, written by Latin alum and current lower school assistant teacher, Marjorie Muller '13," is based on Bram Stoker's classic novel "Dracula."

The production of presenting the virtual performance took careful planning and technological skill. Each student used a green screen (coupled with a chroma-key green virtual background) on Zoom. Back at Latin, a "mission control" center utilized brand new technology that was developed during the pandemic to route the live feeds of the actors on Zoom and make them appear in the custom configurations on screen. First, ZoomOSC software allowed "mission control" to see the location of each actor on the Zoom feed (top left, center right, bottom middle, etc.). Then software from Troikatronix called Isadora merged the performers onto shared backgrounds to make them appear like they were in the same location, plus it layered in video and audio effects. 

Actors view of Zoom

This is an example of the actors' view of Zoom. One of the Zoom "participants" is a view of the finished live feed of the show, so the actors can see where they appear on the screen to make sure they are facing the right way if they are interacting with another actor. The actors can't watch the Twitch live stream because it is several seconds behind the real-time Zoom.

Students developed problem-solving, creative-thinking and technology-building skills, which they will use to revamp theatrical performance experiences for years to come.

Working alongside upper school technical theater teacher Thad Hallstein, the show's student stage manager, Natalie R. '22, called out all of the screen configuration changes and audio and effects cues. This included giving the actors their cues in the Zoom chat as well as communicating with the actors in a separate group text chat for other directions. The student computer control operator, Elliot K. '22, then executed the cues in the performance software. He also served as an emergency understudy to step in front of a green screen set up at Latin should an actor's WIFI drop out or they lose connection with them on Zoom. Shane Enderle, a member of Latin's IT team, monitored the feed from the performance software to ensure the video and audio functioned properly in the live stream.

Software routing

This is a view of the complex configuration using Isadora that routed the actors' individual video feeds into the performance software and controlled how the actors appeared on screen.

 

Directed by upper school drama and technical theater teacher Frank Schneider, the show was viewable on Twitch, a live stream tool that was embedded on the website quincymorrison.net, which the students created specifically for the play.

View of streaming to Twitch

This is a view of one finished scene that streamed to Twitch, the live-streaming tool that the audience uses to view the performance.

Students developed problem-solving, creative-thinking and technology-building skills, which they will use to revamp theatrical performance experiences for years to come.

 

Arts

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Upper School Fall Play: Not Your Average Zoom

Upper school students transformed the fall play into a virtual, interactive experience, complete with an engaging website and a cutting-edge Zoom performance. Twenty-one students presented "Lucy Westenra is Not (and Will Never Be) a Vampire" from 20 different locations on October 28-30, 2020. The play, written by Latin alum and current lower school assistant teacher, Marjorie Muller '13," is based on Bram Stoker's classic novel "Dracula."

The production of presenting the virtual performance took careful planning and technological skill. Each student used a green screen (coupled with a chroma-key green virtual background) on Zoom. Back at Latin, a "mission control" center utilized brand new technology that was developed during the pandemic to route the live feeds of the actors on Zoom and make them appear in the custom configurations on screen. First, ZoomOSC software allowed "mission control" to see the location of each actor on the Zoom feed (top left, center right, bottom middle, etc.). Then software from Troikatronix called Isadora merged the performers onto shared backgrounds to make them appear like they were in the same location, plus it layered in video and audio effects. 

Actors view of Zoom

This is an example of the actors' view of Zoom. One of the Zoom "participants" is a view of the finished live feed of the show, so the actors can see where they appear on the screen to make sure they are facing the right way if they are interacting with another actor. The actors can't watch the Twitch live stream because it is several seconds behind the real-time Zoom.

Students developed problem-solving, creative-thinking and technology-building skills, which they will use to revamp theatrical performance experiences for years to come.

Working alongside upper school technical theater teacher Thad Hallstein, the show's student stage manager, Natalie R. '22, called out all of the screen configuration changes and audio and effects cues. This included giving the actors their cues in the Zoom chat as well as communicating with the actors in a separate group text chat for other directions. The student computer control operator, Elliot K. '22, then executed the cues in the performance software. He also served as an emergency understudy to step in front of a green screen set up at Latin should an actor's WIFI drop out or they lose connection with them on Zoom. Shane Enderle, a member of Latin's IT team, monitored the feed from the performance software to ensure the video and audio functioned properly in the live stream.

Software routing

This is a view of the complex configuration using Isadora that routed the actors' individual video feeds into the performance software and controlled how the actors appeared on screen.

 

Directed by upper school drama and technical theater teacher Frank Schneider, the show was viewable on Twitch, a live stream tool that was embedded on the website quincymorrison.net, which the students created specifically for the play.

View of streaming to Twitch

This is a view of one finished scene that streamed to Twitch, the live-streaming tool that the audience uses to view the performance.

Students developed problem-solving, creative-thinking and technology-building skills, which they will use to revamp theatrical performance experiences for years to come.

 

Arts

Explore Our News & Stories

Globe

Alice Baumgartner '06, a historian at the University of Southern California and author of "South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War," was recently interviewed on NPR's "All Things Considered" for a story titled "A Chapter In U.S. History Often Ignored: The Flight Of Runaway Slaves To Mexico." Listen to the 13-minute interview or read the article. 

Alumni

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Lower school students looking at a computer

In a world where students are spending a significant part of their school day online, it is now more important than ever to develop thoughtful and empathetic digital citizens from a young age. 

Fourth grade students are studying what it means to be a considerate digital citizen and maintain a positive digital footprint with Fiona Deeney, Latin’s lower school computer science and technology integration specialist. A digital citizen is someone who develops skills to responsibly use technology, including digital devices and online media platforms. When individuals share information online, they leave a digital footprint. A digital citizen is someone who develops skills to responsibly use technology, including digital devices and online media platforms.

After the students learned the basics of online safety and digital footprints, they were tasked with creating a graphic that encompassed these lessons. In order to complete the assignment, they researched a credible digital media platform to build their piece–Pic Collage was a popular option among the students.

Hear more about what it means to be a responsible digital citizen and how to manage a digital footprint from fourth grade students Colleen C. ’29 and Annabelle W. ’29.

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Jessie Heider

Get to know Jessie Heider who has been Latin's partner from Athletico and athletic trainer since 2010. In January, Jessie officially became the first full-time in-house athletic trainer at Latin. 

Education 

B.S. in Athletic Training - Purdue University
M.S. in Health Education & Promotion - University of Cincinnati

Position and years at Latin

Athletic Trainer - 10 years

Favorite Quote: 

"Today me will live in the moment, unless it's unpleasant, in which case me will eat a cookie." –Cookie Monster

What are your favorite things about Latin? 

There is such a close sense of community at Latin. One of my favorite things about working here is being able to connect with and get to know so many different people.

What are the best parts of your job? 

It’s rewarding to help kids through the rehabilitation process and then get to see them successfully return to their sport after experiencing an injury. I also love that every workday is different… it keeps me on my toes!

Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school? 

I always found the idea of working at a school appealing because I knew it would give me the opportunity to be involved in so much more than just athletics. At Latin, I’m lucky enough to work with both athletics and our Latin 360 program. It’s also fun to be able to support our students in other ways, such as helping with senior projects or attending dance shows and plays.

What was the last good book you read? 

"American Dirt" by Jeanine Cummins

What are your hobbies and interests? 

I love spending time with my dog, Piper, playing fantasy football and following Purdue sports (Boiler Up!). I’m also excited to get back to traveling again once the pandemic is over.

What was your first job?

I worked as an Athletic Trainer for Women’s Lacrosse at the University of Cincinnati while in grad school, but working at Latin was my first “official” job after finishing school.

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited? 

Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada

What's the best advice you've ever heard?

Be present. Try not to focus on what happened in the past or what will happen in the future. Enjoy the “now.”

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US Chess Team  in the Learning Commons during the State Final

On February 12-13, the upper school chess team competed virtually in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state finals and finished in first place in Division 1A.
The students who represented Latin were Waleed B. '21, Matthew S. '21, Mark M. '21, William F. '21, Eli E. '23, Anton S. '23, Collin D. '22, and Maxwell L. '23. The tournament took place online, but participating teams had to play from the same location—the Romans competed from the upper school's Learning Commons. This is the first time in Latin history that the Romans have won the division title.

ABOUT THE UPPER SCHOOL CHESS TEAM: This academic team meets four times a week for practice and competes in the Chicago Chess Conference composed of catholic schools, including St. Ignatius, St. Patrick, De La Salle, Marist, Br. Rice, etc. After the conference play, they compete in sectionals. Then if they qualify, they play in the state championships.  

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