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Spring Musical presents: "A Chorus Line"

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Students rehearse for the upcoming production.

Students rehearse for the upcoming production.

Litzy Segura

Litzy Segura

Students rehearse for the upcoming production.

Sofie Kennedy, Entertainment Editor

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The spring musical, A Chorus Line to be performed at the end of April, challenges ETHS actors and actresses to learn new skills while learning more about themselves, on and off stage.

   “We finally found the right time to produce ‘A Chorus Line’,” says Aaron Carney, Director. “Everyone was on board with “A Chorus Line”, which I have wanted to direct for years, because it is not as traditional as other musicals.”

    A Chorus Line is based off of the book by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante. It premiered in 1975 on Broadway. A Chorus Line is about 17 broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line. The musical taps into the personal story of each dancer as they take on auditions.

   The ETHS version will include 39 dancers instead of 17. Despite the size of the production relative to the original, this year’s musical is still smaller than ETHS’ past productions. Along with a decrease in cast, the musical will also change location.

      “A big difference is that the musical is in the upstairs theatre opposed to the auditorium,” says Carney. “To do it in the upstairs theatre which is such an intimate space will make it a more effective and personal experience for everybody.”

     Another change to the spring musical is that A Chorus Line doesn’t have a typical plot. The musical is about a dance show, so the focus is mostly geared towards dance. It also incorporates a greater variety of people.

     “Everyone has to dance, sing and act in this show even if one of those is not your particular strength. It is really neat seeing the different groups of people in the cast supporting one another in order to become better at each skill,” says Carney. “I am amazed at how far some people in the cast have grown skill wise. It is really wonderful to see every student’s confidence grow.”

     The cast was chosen after two weeks of auditions in December. The auditions included learning and performing choreography and a song. The cast practices 30 hours a week from Monday to Saturday for every week leading up to tech week, which includes much longer days.

     Even with a different, more varied group from past years, the bond stays tight between everyone involved in the musical.

  “The community is very supportive. Everyone is working together and trying really hard,” says senior actress Liz Nebel. “Especially with “A Chorus Line”, the community is really celebratory and emotional. Everyone has to learn and work together in order to be vulnerable with one another.”

     This year, about 100 students are involved in the musical. Obviously, the cast plays a large role in the production, but the crew and orchestra are vital to the success of the musical as well. The crew consists of everyone from lighting designers to artists, and it is centered around student leadership.   They work on numerous musicals per year, so they have learned how to independently operate as a group.

     During the process, the directors of the show pay particular attention to student voice. They create characters and choreography based off of the skills and creative ideas that the students have.

    “All the directors have a vision for the show, but it is very much about the students. Therefore, it is more of a collaborative process,” says Carney.  “We want this to be a great experience for everyone involved. To me, the process is more important than the product.”

    All students and staff have been working hard in preparation for the show. The cast has indulged in dance and voice classes, workshops and long practices, among other things. The people involved are passionate about making it the best it can be.

    “This is my last show at ETHS, so I’m going to put a lot of hard work into the show,” says Nebel. “I also hope I can find the confidence in myself to go out and do my best. The show is about doing things because you love them no matter what, so I am trying take on that mindset.”

     “A Chorus Line” will take place in the upstairs theatre on April 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28. Tickets will go on sale March 19 for $12.

     “I hope everyone grows and learns a lot about who they are during this process,” says Carney. “I hope the culmination of everything is something that is very exceptional and something everyone can be proud of.”

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