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For this year’s spring musical, the BPHS Drama Department is putting on Footloose. Auditions were held in early December and the cast immediately began to rehearse the week afterward.
“[Rehearsal] starts preparing you more and more as it gets going and you start to notice that there is improvement in what you’re doing,” says junior Isaiah Marquez, who plays Ren McCormack.
Unlike the fall play, whose cast consisted of only play production students, the musical is open to everyone. The cast is made up of drama students, choir students, and other BPHS students interested in performing and looking for a new experience.
Putting together a musical is drastically different than the production of a play. While play rehearsals are pretty standard, with each day consisting of blocking- the movement and organization of every scene and running through different scenes- a musical is much busier and much more complicated.
On the very first day of rehearsal, the cast was introduced to the script that they would soon know like the back of their hands. Now that they have been rehearsing the show for two months, sans Christmas break, they have fallen into a steady routine. Each week consists of individual rehearsals dedicated to choreography, vocals, or running through new scenes.
“At first when I started, I really didn’t know anything about dancing, but now I’m starting to get the moves from it, I’m starting to know how to sing, and I’m starting to get the whole feel of the character,” continued Marquez.
For the most part, the three areas of rehearsals line up when it comes to what scenes are done or are being worked. Everything goes hand-in-hand. Some scenes cannot be completed without being choreographed. The choreography cannot be completely ready if the vocals are not there. So far, Act 1, which consists of nine scenes, has been blocked completely. The majority of the vocals and choreography for Act 1 are also complete.
“The musical prep is very, very interesting, depending on what show. Since I’m a lead, I’m also focusing on remembering lines and singing and remembering blocking. As opening day approaches, I always have that ‘I’m nervous’, but then ‘I’m excited,’” expressed Greg Arias, who plays Reverend Moore.
With one act already under their belt, the Footloose cast still has another month to learn the second half of their musical and tighten any loose ends. Saturday rehearsals are set for the next three Saturdays and the tech crew is in the process of being recruited. Before they know it, the cast and crew will be loading into the PAC and preparing for opening day.