Behind the Scenes: A Musical

From a top view of a musical it seems simple, as everyone knows what’s happening on stage. The process of creating a musical is something that not many people are familiar with. 

Starting a musical is heavily influenced by the director. At the D.C. Everest Senior High, Mrs. Wendy Vesper is the director for the two musicals taking place in the 2022-2023 school year, “The Rocking Tales of Snow White,” and the senior play, an adaptation of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s “Chicago.” 

Decisions of how musicals are picked is left up to directors to decide. Mrs. Vesper said musicals are picked by what she thinks the cast is ready for. 

“Chicago” is the senior musical because Mrs. Vesper believes that the seniors are ready for the challenge the musical presents itself with. “It will be the hardest show we have done here in a long time.”

Mrs. Vesper said this year’s cast members have “a lot of good talented seniors.”  Mrs. Vesper believes that the cast will be able to keep up with the difficulties “Chicago” has to offer. 

Looking at the seniors, several talented people are willing to do the show. For the dancers, Mrs. Vesper believes they are able to deal with the complicated dances showcased in “Chicago”.

Choosing actors in the play is a process that Mrs Vesper described as “putting together a gigantic puzzle.”

Auditions are done on a graded scale where actors are picked on what they are the most suited to do. Those often chosen are those who are the best dancers, singers, and soloists. 

Mrs. Vesper says that it is a staff decision on whether or not a person gets a role in the play. The head director and the other staff members talk together to make most decisions. 

Although the staff make the large decisions, the cast members have a small voice in what happens.

“I hope all my actors feel comfortable to come to me with concerns.” Mrs. Vesper thinks that her actors do a good job doing what they think the character should do, unless it interferes with the other actors. 

Mrs. Vesper trusts her staff to run practice without her. At the beginning of running plays, Mrs. Vesper is there overviewing every practice. As time goes on, Mrs. Vesper is able to trust the students to make the play run smoothly with less instructor supervision.

Mrs. Vesper and Mr. Scott Atkinson, the musical director, are complete opposites of each other when it comes to show ideas. But overall, Mrs. Vesper says that they work together. Their weaknesses and strengths balance each other out to make the show amazing. 

Students and Mrs. Vesper are not the only people who help run the show. Parent participation is a major factor that helps. They have an understanding of how busy society today is, yet keep a strong dedication to the show. It all works out in the end, ensuring quality over quantity. 

The staff of the show gets paid a small portion of the revenue in their salary. “It’s a motivator for us to make a really good show,” said Mrs. Vesper.