Katy’s Paetow HS Creates Drive-in Theatre for Upcoming Shows


November 10, 2020

By Jennifer Miko

Get your tickets now to a drive-in theatre experience in Katy. The Paetow High School Theatre Company presents “Fahrenheit 451” on a big screen Thursday and Saturday for audiences to watch from their cars in the school’s parking lot. On Friday, the program will be streamed for patrons to watch from home.

The drive-in theatre presentation of “Fahrenheit 451" will be showcased for two nights on a giant movie screen set up in front of the Paetow High School Performing Arts Center at 23111 Stockdick School Road in Katy. Patrons can watch the show from their cars at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 12, and Saturday, November 14 for $5 per person. The program will also be streamed for audiences to watch from home on Friday, November 13, at 7 p.m. Streaming tickets cost $20 per household.

With this special presentation, the PHS Theatre Company brings Ray Bradbury's 1953 classic, “Fahrenheit 451,” to life. The dystopian story asks the question, "What if books were illegal and people were forbidden to read them?"

“This production is a true representation of a community committed to keeping theatre alive and present even throughout a global pandemic,” says Paetow High School Theatre Director Elizabeth Mace. 

She said the decision to present the production as a drive-in and streaming was an easy one. The PHS Theatre Company wanted to provide a safe environment for the students and community to experience theatre. 

“Because we have a number of students that are KVA and F2F, we felt it was important to provide an environment that all of our families would feel comfortable attending,” says Mace.

Students and Directors Thrive with New Technical Elements

PHS Theatre Technical Director, John Holt, has been planning the technical elements of this project for months, and the students had the opportunity to utilize new technology and equipment in order to shoot the production. 

“The District provided Adobe Premiere for our students to use for the actual editing of the scenes,” says Mace. “Additionally, our Booster Club was fortunate enough to purchase us a special microphone to help us capture the sound on set.”

Theatergoers will watch the production on a 12-foot-wide by 20-foot-high projector screen built by the PHS Theatre set crew. Plus, the program will use a radio transmitter to ensure the audience can remain in their vehicles and listen to the performance on their FM radios.

“Our tech students have done a phenomenal job capturing the heart and soul of this production,” says Mace. 

Pictured: Masudul Khasru and Aimee Huggins

Sophomore Aimee Huggins, who managed the filming and editing of “Fahrenheit 451,” admits the biggest challenge has been the race against the clock.

“It has been hard editing and filming at the same time,” says Aimee Huggins. “I think this opportunity is so incredibly amazing for our company. Not only is it a chance for us to do what makes us happy, but it is also an incredible learning experience for a new type of theatre.

Senior Michael Cummings has been in Theatre for six years and worked as the Light Head for this production. He agrees with Huggins about meeting deadlines.