Cast and crew produce another memorable musical


Hannah Stelitano

After two extremely successful weekends of shows, the cast, crew, and pit orchestra have closed out the 2023 spring musical, “Catch Me If You Can”. Whether reflecting back on the show, lighting, sound, or music, everything went according to plan, making this year’s run extremely successful.

“Everyone involved in this production impresses me every year, but this year the students really blew me away. The way each student took complete ownership over their role in this show and really invested themselves in it was so beautiful to see. It really was the kids’ show in every aspect,” director Mrs. Jennifer Birch said.

While the final product of the show came out perfectly, that does not mean it did not face its challenges throughout the months of rehearsals.

“From a production aspect, I think our biggest challenge was the music. It was dense and difficult and a little outside the students’ expectations of traditional ‘theater’ music. The learning process for the songs was a little bit more labor-intensive and, I think, frustrating at times,” Birch said.

When deciding upon a show, the directors knew this would be a challenge. Last year, “Newsies” had more of a traditional, musical theater style to its music so this year was a definite change of pace. Although the music last year was challenging, it does not compare to the level of difficulty the music had this year. All in all, the pit pulled through, playing five seamless performances.

“Another challenge we encountered was with crew communications after the headset tower malfunctioned. There were periods of time during the rehearsal and show process where booth had no easy way of communicating with spots and backstage and they had to get creative,” Birch said.

When watching a show from the audience perspective, it is hard to realize how much is actually going on behind the stage. There are multiple people sitting behind the stage controlling the props, in the back of the auditorium controlling the lights, and in the booth above the stage controlling the sound.

All of these people play an extremely important role in the show, even from behind the stage. Because of this, they all need to be able to communicate with each other for certain lighting, prop, or sound cues. When all of the headsets for behind stage communication stopped working, they truly faced a never before seen challenge.

“This show has been the most challenging for sure but it has also been the most rewarding. Seeing the show come together was a great feeling,” senior Avery Gallant, booth apprentice, said.

From the perspective of the cast, nothing truly detrimental happened. Although small challenges were faced along the way, the cast had a pretty smooth run during rehearsals as well as throughout the weekends of the shows.

“The run of shows this year was definitely very special to me. It was the last time I would perform on Shaler’s stage and I am very grateful for how smooth everything went. I loved playing the part of Brenda and I will forever remember how successful this show was,” senior Lauren Lorenz (cast as Brenda Strong) said.

The cast, crew, and pit can walk away from this year’s shows feeling extremely proud of their major success and the pride they took in overcoming every challenge so quickly.

“From the dancing, which helped tell the story of this boy and family in turmoil, to the incredible acting of truly unique and complex characters, to the difficult vocals and orchestrations that sounded so gorgeous, it was all a dream come true. I can’t believe how lucky I am to know, work with, and advise such incredible young people. It’s a surreal, gratifying experience to be surrounded by such talent and passion,” Birch said.