Musical Season is Here: A Tale as Old as Time

Ava Wells, Staff

The spring season is a busy time for the students participating in fine arts.  Those students involved in theater are no exception. With beginning of musical rehearsals, those involved in theater will be occupied plenty. This year’s musical is Beauty and the Beast, and auditions are in full swing. Students are preparing solos along with their interpretations of the scripts for auditions!

Ashley Brock, the director of the musical and vocal music program at Holdrege High School, takes time every year to decide what the musical will be. This year she chose Beauty and the Beast. This production is especially exciting because it is such a well-known story. ¨When deciding what the musical should be I have to take into consideration many different factors: the budget, how it will relate to the students and their familiarity with the story already, the appeal of the musical and much more!” She also stated why this particular musical attracted her. “It’s about the story; Beauty and the Beast has a wonderful message of kindness that the world needs right now.” She also said, “The music is iconic and it will be enjoyable for all ages!¨ In past years, the elementary kids have enjoyed a performance of the musical put on by the high school. This musical in particular will appeal their age group. Many of the students auditioning are also excited to do this particular musical because it is so well-known. Auditions for this musical are this week, January 18th through the 22nd. 

Auditions this year are different from previous years. There will be a panel of five judges that have different experiences in theater and music, such as previous music or drama teachers. “I want to make our auditions as similar to professional and collegiate auditions as possible, so if a student pursues music and play production they have an idea of what it’s like.” stated Ashley Brock. The students auditioning will go to auditions and participate in cold readings. Cold readings are readings from the script that haven’t been seen by the students until they arrive at auditions. That is another practice from higher level auditions. After the cold readings, the students will enter one at a time and perform a solo that they have been able to prepare ahead of time. The musical number they perform does not need to be in the musical. If needed, callbacks will be a few days after the auditions are held. If students are requested for a callback, they will receive a script and music and be given a day to prepare. In previous years, there has never been a cold reading done before. This change may add to the stress and excitement the actors are already feeling as they prepare for their auditions and future roles. 

During the musical and auditions there are many exciting and nerve-racking elements. Junior Delaney Ham states, “The most exciting part about being in the musical is getting back into acting after a period without it.” Similarly, Junior Ella Roach said, “The most exciting part for me is probably getting to spend time with friends and be able to still participate in these things even with the pandemic.” Since everything has been on hold with COVID, it’s a sign of hope for the students. In contrast to the emotions of excitement, there are the nerve-racking ones. The most anxiety-filled and difficult aspects of a musical also affect the actors and actresses. This can include stage fright, forgetting lines on stage, and much more.  Delaney said, “The most difficult part of the musical and auditions is being able to form your own character and having confidence on stage. You won’t have any originality if you don’t take your character in your own direction.” On a different note,  Ella stated, “For me the most nerve-racking part is singing on your own during an audition because it’s just you and everyone is watching.” But for director Ashley Brock, “The most exciting part of organizing the musical is seeing the transformation from the words on paper to a big production, to watch it come alive.” 

As auditions and callbacks contiune, many actors and actresses are preparing for the start of a lively and thrilling season. There are highs and lows to it all, but the final production always pays off!