Singing, dancing, running lines and set-building have kept Bryan Adams High School students busy for the past two months. Talented students have been practicing several times a week in preparation for their November production of Hello, Dolly!, a musical about love and matchmaking.
Directed by theater arts teacher Joyce Ward, the play includes a cast of 60 and a crew of more than 20. In addition to the performance, the students build sets, control the lights and sound and manage the props. Add the accompaniment of the Bryan Adams High School orchestra and you have a small army of dedicated students preparing for the musical’s four-show engagement.
Rehearsals began in September after a series of auditions. Students practiced four days a week, in shifts from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Under the supervision of technical director and set designer John McCollum, the crew worked continuously to prepare backdrops and scenery.
The role of Dolly will be shared, performed by Bola Odun and Savannah Smith. Other starring roles will be played by: Marc Odun (Horace), David Stigall (Cornelius), Channing Johnson and Abraham Hernandez (Barnaby, shared role), Kathryn Trednick (Irene), Kelsey McDonough (Minnie Fay), Marshall Shugart (Ambrose), and Lisa Alaniz (Ermengarde). A large chorus will accompany the stars to create an impressive musical ensemble.
Students participate in the musical as a co-curricular activity, not necessarily earning credit for their time. Some actors and crew are involved with the Theater Arts Department, but just as many are not. Ward explains that the show is not exclusive to drama students. “Hello, Dolly! is an all-school performance put on by the Fine Arts Department,” she says.
Ward benefits from the help of several other adult supervisors. Marilyn Elliott serves as the Choral Director, Mike Harris directs the orchestra, and Gary Okeson is the Music Director. And Bryan Adams alumnus, Chris Smith, rejoins his Alma Mater as the Technical Director.
Performances begin on Nov. 20 and run through Nov. 23, opening at 7:30 p.m. Past years’ ticket prices have been $4 and $6 and can be purchased at the door. For information, call the Drama Department, 214-319-0172.
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