BMHS Pridetime Reporter
In late April, members of the drama department at Brien McMahon High School will hold their first official performance of this years school musical, Hairspray. Hairspray is a classic musical set in Baltimore during the 1960’s. The story focuses on overweight teenager, Tracy Turnblad, as she achieves her dream of dancing on The Corny Collins Show, while doing her part to combat the racial divide in the city. On opening night, the auditorium stage will be dressed with colorful sets and actors will be ready to give their first performance in front of a live audience. Together, the cast and crew will work their magic to put on the best show they can and earn the standing ovation they deserve.
With each performance, the cast and crew make all of the songs, dances, lighting cues, and set changes look like second nature. What audience members don’t understand, however, is that a lot more goes into a show that what meets the eye.
What a lot of people don’t know is that the cast prepares for this performance four to five months in advance. So much has to get done and by the time opening night comes around, everything needs to be perfect.
Singing and dancing alone are complicated tasks. But what happens when you try to do them at the same time? What happens when you have to coordinate a dance number and a song while being on stage in front of a live audience?
Alison Coutts, a senior at McMahon and cast member of Hairspray explains, “You have to be in really good physical shape to be able to sing and dance at the same time for a long show.”
Not only is the show difficult to perfect for the actors, it is also a lot of hard work for the crew members. All in all, the crew is responsible for sets, lights, and anything tech-related. It is important that the crew and cast work together, as said by Alison, which can sometimes be the hardest part of the preparation. With around one hundred students involved in the production, coordinating everyone to the same songs, dances, and lighting cues can be extremely difficult.
Another important part of the musical that plays a big role in how the show ends up is the budget. With a limited budget, it is possible that the show could suffer and this comes into play during this rehearsal time when sets are being built and costumes are being made.
“I think people don’t realize how much we are doing for how little we get,” says Alison. “There is a lot of effort put in and I feel like we don’t get enough recognition for that especially since we have zero funding. We put on really really great shows when we start out with literally nothing every year. “
Hairspray will be performed lived in late April, an official date has not been made yet.