Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Madness

For most, the term March Madness evokes images of basketball games. For us, 2013 March Madness was school plays.

The month began with seeing Seussical at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, NJ. It was phenomenal! Some of the leads were played by Saint Ann School alumni. We look forward to continuing to go to Notre Dame productions to continue to see our stars become their stars.

The next day Ashley and I saw Guys and Dolls at Lawrence Middle School. The 7th and 8th graders did a good job with the tough material.

Ashley's friends from "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", "It's a Wonderful Life," and "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," were cast in Hillsborough High School's production of "Beauty and the Beast." It was so much fun seeing familiar faces on stage and hugging them afterwards. The production was amazing. You can see the number of hours they put into rehearsing. 

Then, all too quickly, it was time for the Saint Ann School production of "Willy Wonka." Auditions took place last December. Rehearsals began every weekend right after winter break. All of a sudden it seemed it was time for the show.

Ashley was cast as Mrs. Gloop -- Golden Ticket winner Augustus Gloop's mother. This role involved singing a small 2-line solo (her first) and speaking in a German accent. She says the toughest part was having to eat chocolate on stage. It is tough to be an actress.

The productions at Ashley's school are completely parent run -- from the directors, choreographers, costumers, set designers, set painters, back stage crew, ticket sellers, etc. You name it, a parent is doing the work. Well, a couple of alumni come back to help at the last minute.
I use my talents to take pictures of the cast during dress rehearsals, plus I sneak a few in during the show when they are wearing their full costumes. Don's work is ideally not seen, but very important. He works back stage moving sets and props. Ashley helped him during the fall production and said it was so hard, she won't do it again!

Saint Ann's is fortunate to have so many students involved with the show that they have two full casts -- which means twice as many rehearsals for the parent directors, etc. They had so many strong girls auditioning that they had four Wilhamena (Willy) Wonkas and four Charlene (Charlie) Buckets, which also added to the rehearsal schedule.

By the last curtain call, we were all a bit tired. I continue to cull my 1000 pictures down to a couple of hundred. These will be added to the DVDs that are given to each member of the cast and crew during the cast party. It is a labor of love and we love that so many parents are willing to give that love.

March might be over, but we continue to support our friends and family in shows.

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