The Evanstonian

Spring musical seeks to empower women

Nora Miller, Staff Writer

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The Theater Dept. has announced their selection for the spring musical: Legally Blonde. Both positive and judgemental reactions to the decision has been made by students, considering ETHS has a history of producing shows like Jesus Christ Superstar and A Chorus Line.

“I’m not sure if Legally Blonde would be considered hard-hitting, but I do think it is a good female empowerment show,” thespian senior Tess Dienerstein explains.

The story follows college student, Elle Woods, as she grapples with being considered too uneducated to marry her boyfriend. Throughout the show, Elle’s girlfriends become a source of strength for her as she defies all stereotypes and excels at Harvard Law school.

“I wanted to choose a vehicle for the exquisitely talented young women in this school and in this department,” theater director Timothy Herbert explains.

Actresses are crucial to all the parts of the cast, as the show features seven female leads. Despite the overall awareness of the “dumb blonde” cliché, there was a concern from students that there would be a stereotyped cast.

“The original musical and movie had a white cast. Honestly, I think the administrative part of theater doesn’t broadcast auditions as much to people of color,” sophomore Carmiya Bady says.

While some students may be unsure about the choice, the Theater Dept. explains how the musical will be cast in a way that caters to everyone.

“For any part in the show, we are going to choose the best person for the part. I think blonde is scary to hear; when we hear the word we think that it’s a white person, but I don’t want students to see it that way,” Herbert says.

Herbert’s intentions, along with a group of students with open minds, have the momentum to dispel the classic blonde trope.

“It’s easy to look at Legally Blonde and say ‘there are seven roles for seven white woman, and I think if the administration is doing their job, then every lead role will have the potential to be a person of color,” senior Izzy Miller says.

To embrace students even more, Legally Blonde is inclusive in terms of quantity, with the need for over forty person cast and a substantially large pit orchestra. Each female lead has a vocal solo and there are dance breaks in almost every single number.

“It includes a lot of women roles, this will be a cool show because there will be a lot of female representation up there,” sophomore Santiago Callam says.

The theater community is hoping to give students a voice and showcase the untapped potential of the talent in the school.

“There’s room for a huge cast and orchestra, it’s going to be a blast. We just need talented women who can belt their hearts out,” Miller says.

Ultimately, the musical may be a ways away, but auditions are quickly approaching and the Theater Dept. is stressing the fact that anyone, blonde or not, should audition for the part.

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Spring musical seeks to empower women