Making a musical

ATP students work to create an original production

Story by Kate Morgan, staff writer

Musicals have many different forms from classics, like “Oklahoma” and ”Sound of Music,” to modern productions, such as “Hamilton” or “Dear Evan Hansen.” They have been around since the mid-eighteenth century, entertaining their audiences with their enchanting music and riveting dialogue.

The Advanced Theatre Performance is performing an original show, “Surviving High School: A Jukebox Musical” on May 7 and May 8.

Students have spent the past few months working together to compile lists of songs and prospective storylines to put together a show of their own creation. Many different voices and opinions are blended together to create a single story with many intertwining plotlines and complex characters.  

After many class periods of contemplation and hard work, two students, sophomores Lia Graham and Salem Karr, were chosen to write the script. Many other students continued to contribute ideas, but Graham and Karr were ultimately responsible for turning the class’s idea into a full-length musical.

Over spring break, Graham and Karr worked together to create dialogue and select songs. They produced an 88 page script with 16 songs. Because the original script lasted approximately two and a half hours, the two were tasked with shortening the length of the show and censoring the script for any material, specifically in musical numbers selected from preexisting shows that might not be appropriate for the program. The final script was cut down to under 85 pages.

When class started again, the students began discussing casting.  Each student who was hoping to perform in the show had to perform a monologue and a song for the auditions. However, unlike a traditional audition, students had to go off of the stereotypes of characters they were given, since the script was not yet released. They were also notified of which characters had larger singing parts and what songs these characters would sing.

With high anticipation, the students awaited the arrival of the cast list.

When the students returned to class, they went through a second round of auditions or callbacks. In these auditions, the selected students were given a song chosen by senior Jose Velasquez. During the rehearsal process, Velasquez will be overseeing the vocals that are featured in the show. He will be critiquing the actors techniques and helping them perfect their songs. The cast list was released at the beginning of the next week.

Soon after, the rehearsal process began. The ATP Program is an in-class program, most of the rehearsals for this show will be during the class period. However, since there are so many different components of the musical that need to be put together, rehearsals have been scheduled after school hours to help the production take form.

Even though this program is fairly new to the Tiger Theatre Company, ATP is striving to find its place and create an identity for itself through the variety of productions this group performs. By trying different types of shows that are considered unusual or that have not been previously done before by the theatre company, Advanced Theatre is creating an adventurous and comedic identity for themselves.