Nordhoff High School musical film, ‘The Theory of Relativity,’ will be available as video on demand

Through special permission from Music Theatre International, Nordhoff High School is able to offer musical show through video on demand for the near future. "Theory of Relativity" will be available at  for a $15 rental fee, with all proceeds going to support the Nordhoff Music Department.



 web Cast choreography Theory of RelativityPhoto by Jen Miller

One of the big ensemble numbers in Nordhoff High School’s film, “The Theory of Relativity,” is called “Great Expectations.” It is about children of immigrants who are grateful, but nonetheless want to pursue their own dreams — not the ones laid out for them by prior generations.

By John Hankins

Special to the Ojai Valley News

Now’s the time to sit back and enjoy the results of “The Theory of Relativity,” an entertaining musical presented by the Nordhoff High School Musical Department, ready for viewing the next three days. Enjoy this labor of love at 7 p.m. Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15; and at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 16. Experience another great Nordhoff High School musical, this time in the comfort of your own home! A single viewer costs only $15, a family ticket is $40.

Tickets can be purchased at:

“I have a big smile on my face; it was a joyous experience, and the audience will think so, too,” predicted Director Brian McDonald after finishing this unique musical theater that was not possible with a live audience within the constraints of COVID-19. 

Musical Director Bill Wagner was determined to continue the yearly tradition of a musical play and chose “Theory” because of its catchy tunes, humor and most of all because it is “an honest portrayal of reality.” It should resonate beyond students, to parents, grandparents and the public in general.

A key component to its success is Lin Coleman, who got McDonald involved and was instrumental behind the scenes as production manager.

It was borne at a Canadian college when a theater cast went out for pizza and the authors, Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, asked them to tell them what was on their minds. “We quickly learned that if you feed students, they will happily talk,” they noted. “The students shared with us endlessly captivating tales of family, fear, love, loss and the need for human connection.”

It starts as a simple physics test question that prompts the students to consider their lives and connections to others. Individuals speak, sing and dance and, in concert with the musical’s theory, a true ensemble experience is had by all. 

Cast members are: Penny Avildsen, Amelia Bagley, Mikhail Brant, Karys Everett, Kolbe Fink, Eric Georgopoulos, Liz Ledbetter, Sophie Massey, Karen Murillo, Chiya Newman, Emma Poultney, Ela Ruf, Benny Schurmer, Rafael Sierra, Morgan Sorrentino, Dieter Umholtz and Caitlin Wescott.

While the authors were inspired by “that pizza-fueled conversation,” the Nordhoff students ate it up and have posted numerous videos, pictures and notes online. Their excitement is palpable and likely yours will be, too.

“Theater is collaborative,” noted McDonald. “The goal is always to inspire, keep everyone moving in the right direction and make sure we’re having fun.”

“People will be blown away,” said Jen Miller, the videographer and editor of the musical film.

“And you will be surprised,” predicted cast member Eric Georgopoulos. 

The first section is entitled “Relativity” and the end finishes with a song entitled, “Nothing Without You” — a perfect parenthesis for all that is in between.


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