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No Biz Like Show Biz

As show season approaches, Drama Club students take to the stage for “Beauty and the Beast” auditions.

Reporting by Halla Brill; interview transcript edited for clarity and brevity.

When the house lights dim, the curtains open and the stage lights rise on the opening scene, the audience sees the final product. But before a show is ready for the public eye, the directors have to find their ideal cast; and for every show, the process is unique.

For senior Nathan Evans, prior theater experience influenced his take on the audition process for the fall production, “Beauty and the Beast.” “I participated in ‘Peter Pan’ at Family Life Ministries,” Evans said. “For the show there you had to go up on the stage in front of about 200 other people who were auditioning at the same time and sing and read your lines in front of them. Singing in front of your peers is a little more nerve-racking than people you don't know so I would say ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was more complicated.”

Although auditions can be nerve-racking for some students, the support of others trying out can enhance the audition experience. “‘Beauty and the Beast’ auditions were interesting because they were a little different than past auditions that I’ve been a part of,” sophomore Taylor Hurd said. “It was a cooler experience because everyone was very supportive, both in my first audition group and in my callback group, which isn't always the case.”

In the final moments before auditioning, junior Kate Hanson and sophomore Merica Griffin inspect junior Surav Amin’s tap shoes. The “Beauty and the Beast” audition contained an optional tap dance segment. “I haven’t tapped since first grade and I have no clue what I’m doing, but the choreographers are really good with understanding that a lot of us aren’t fluid tappers,” sophomore Jessie Jones said. “I am most excited for the ‘Wolf Chase’ and ‘Be Our Guest’ choreography.” photo by Aaryaa Donthu

The environment wasn’t the only thing that was different during “Beauty and the Beast” auditions for sophomore Jackson Smith. “The first show that I ever auditioned for was ‘Hairspray,’ and that was during my freshman year. I felt a lot different auditioning for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ because the role I auditioned for was Gaston which is, in a way, the polar opposite of Edna Turnblad for ‘Hairspray,’” Smith said. “Plus I went from having my dad, drama club adviser David Smith, as a director, which is a more suitable environment for me to having school nurse Nancy Brackley as the director for ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which is just a new environment.”

Despite nervousness and differences within the audition process, after the show has been cast, it is up to the students to further develop the culture of drama club. “Even being a spoon or being in the ensemble, you still get to go out there and you can dance and sing, despite not getting a lead role,” sophomore Ashlyn Ball said. “It's not a show that’s just about the leads. You need everyone to make it come together. I hope we pull it all together and that everyone is kind to each other, and that we are all excited about it afterwards too.”


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