The All-School Musical
The annual musical is the dramatic celebration that rounds out the school year. Academic classes end in mid-May, and we have a full month for the rehearsal process, in which students can deeply engage in all aspects of the production (for some this may include tech). One of the foremost criteria that we look for in choosing a musical is that there are challenging and engaging chorus roles, because most of the school will be in the chorus. In “ensemble thinking,” all roles are of equal importance; all serve the whole. Additionally, we ask: Is the music itself of high enough quality to warrant a semester's worth of work and attention? Is the story worth telling? Are the subjects that will be discussed as a result of working on the piece thought provoking, transformational, something that will work on the higher nature of the human being?
I found that theatre is a lot more than rising to stardom; it is the study of life, which I figure is important for just about anyone. … Before each performance [of Les Misérables] we would gather in a huge circle. … Then we would play ‘Who am I?’ so that each double-cast actor could remember which role he or she would be playing that night. But '‘Who am I?’ is more than simply stating the name of the character you intend to portray; it is letting the essence of the character radiate out from the way you say your name, the manner in which you hold yourself, and the gaze of your eyes. As the circle of teenagers began to change into convicts, beggars, whores and nuns, I began to wonder: What if we didn't have characters to hide behind, what if we played this game without the roles we were portraying? Who am I? … By exploring different characters, we learn to understand human nature, which in turn helps us to make a conscious choice of the role we play in life.
Alumna, Class of 2004