From Script to Stage

Sophie Yang, Staff Writer

What started out as a pipe dream fabricated in dark bedrooms at 2 a.m., senior Jonathan Hauser and sophomore Howard Godfrey created Class Act, a documentary style musical featuring the struggles of navigating through the deep halls of high school has made it big, selling out each of its six live shows.

“It was a lot of work, but it was really awesome seeing it come to life with the cast and the pit,” Godfrey says. “It really just hit me that we wrote this, and remembering that this is our music, and our script.”

Hauser and Godfrey co-wrote, composed and directed the show through Musical Offerings, a music school in Evanston. The musical focuses on the lives of a theatre class and the struggles of being an adolescent in high school.

“We decided to start pulling things from our lives, our friends and the people around us so it would be realistic,” Godfrey says.

Class Act centers around an assembly of theatre students being interviewed about their lives, through the eyes of a newspaper interviewer. While the play could easily be written off as a “coming of age drama,” Hauser and Godfrey aimed to portray the less-surface aspects of high school.

“We do have a significant high school audience, but we also have a significant adult audience, and we wanted to show what it’s like to be in high school, especially in this day and age. I think it’s not easily conveyed because not a lot of musicals are written by high schoolers,” Hauser says.

The duo previously worked together on a more comedic play but wanted to tackle more serious and socially relevant issues in Class Act.

“We addressed sexuality and finding yourself, race representation and the fact that high school is going to be hard,” Godfrey explains.

Another goal the duo had was to foster a collaborative environment. Musicals have so many people involved and a main goal was having all realms of the production coming together.

“With a lot of musicals, the pit and cast don’t really interact that much, so we aimed to make that better,” Hauser says. “We wanted to create a community of people working together.”

The two worked relentlessly, scheduling between busy fall agendas along with the stress of balancing everyday life and activities. In the end, they created a masterful 90 minute performance. Hauser describes seeing the final product as “the most rewarding feeling in the world.”