Gator Musical Moving Towards Success

By Sophie South, Reporter

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This year at Greenwood, students and the directors Ms. Osborne and Mrs. Cassady will be showcasing a performance of the timeless musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

This classic is based in the 1920’s around the life of Millie (played by freshman Abby Murphy). Millie moves to New York as an aspiring actress, and wants to find love with a wealthy businessman as well. As she moves, she meets her future lover Jimmy (played by senior Ben Morrison) and the businessman Trevor Graydon (played by senior Gabe Nasato).

Millie likes Trevor at first, but he falls for the beautiful Dorothy (played by senior Jannah Bolin). While their lives play out, the evil landlord Mrs. Meers (played by junior Maggie Mullins) tries to sell actresses, including Dorothy into white slavery.

“Mrs. Cassady and I have wanted to do ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ for a long time, as we are both big fans of this show! The music in the show is phenomenal and the 1920’s are just a fun era to portray on stage,” said Ms. Osborne.

Just before leaving for Thanksgiving break, many students who auditioned for the upcoming musical waited all day in anticipation to find out who made it into the show. This year, the audition process was changed from previous years.

“To audition, students had to prepare a song excerpt and monologue of their choice to perform for the judges. The second part of their audition consisted of learning and performing a short dance routine in a 15-minute span of time,” said co-director Ms. Osborne.

“The scariest part of the audition was just walking in and getting ready to do it, but once I started singing or talking I got used to it,” said 17-year-old Jannah Bolin.  

Directors Ms. Osborne and Mrs. Cassady had to be very strategic to decide which student should play a particular role.

“We first evaluate the needs of the show in terms of the vocal demands, acting demands, and choreography demands of each part. There are some instances in auditions where a person just shines and there is no doubt that they are meant for a certain role. Other times, we look closely at our scoring rubric and determine parts based on who scored the highest in specific areas. This year, dance scores were important because the dance needs for the show are significant. Choosing the cast is always a challenge, especially in a school like GHS where we are gifted with so many talented people,” said co-director Mrs. Cassady.

When coming back to school, the students and directors of this show jumped right into rehearsals, learning new choreography and songs for the show.

“I am learning my songs and practicing them every day, and also working on learning lines. We just got started, so we haven’t gotten to much character work yet,” said senior Gabe Nasato.

“Ms. Osborne and I have a vision for the show, and we spend months preparing for what we want it to look like and what we want to accomplish as an overall effect,” says  Mrs. Cassady.

“Currently, our rehearsals focus on either choreography or music, but soon we will get into blocking scenes, memorizing lines, and mastering our characters,” says Ms. Osborne.

Although the directors and students have some difficult times throughout rehearsing and getting a specific dance, song, or line correct, there are also many amazing aspects that happen throughout the practices and the performances. Both directors expressed how much they love tech week, even though it can be long and stressful. They added that tech week allows the show to come together, which is well worth the time.

“Oh good gravy… EVERYTHING! The people part of this is probably my favorite part because who knows when I will be able to see these amazing, talented, and awesome people perform again. Also musical in general because it is just fun,” said senior Kate Conrad.

“One of my favorite things is making people laugh. My character is very comedic, and hopefully I play him to where people in the crowd laugh,” said Nasato.

“Since this is my last one, I am looking forward to making new and fun memories with my friends!” said Bolin.

These shows will be held at Van Meter auditorium, and the directors will announce times as soon as they can. Make sure to free your schedules on March 16, 17, or 18 to watch this show that many students and adults have been working extremely hard on!

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