High School theater season
opens with 'Singin' in the Rain'
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(November 2010) For those seeking a Broadway-style
musical right in their own hometown, Madison Consolidated High School
has just the ticket.
This November, MCHS kicks off its 2010 theater season with a look back
at the Golden Age of Hollywood with Singin in the Rain.
The musical comedy follows stars working to make the transition from
silent films to the talking pictures. MCHS students, under the direction
of Aaron Kelsey, bring the beloved 1952 Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds
movie to life on stage. Julie Swartz, president of the MCHS Theater
Parent Organization, says that These kids have an incredible amount
Nov. 12-14: Singin in the Rain
Feb. 4-6; Feb. 11-13: You Cant Take
It With You (Presented in association with Spectrum of Jefferson
March 11-13: Neil Simons Rumors
April 29-May 1: Hello Dolly
Singin in the Rain will be presented
Nov. 12-14 at MCHS Auditorium. Evening shows will be Friday and Saturday
at 7. On Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. matinées are available.
Tickets are available at the Hilltop branch of River Valley Financial
Bank, on the MCHS theater website, or at the door starting one hour
before the show. Swartz encourages area residents to take advantage
of this years reduced ticket prices and come out to enjoy the
show. Student tickets for grades K-12 are $5, and adult tickets are
$5 for balcony seats, $10 for the main floor.
The show features a cast of 32 and a crew of 12. These high school students
have been hard at work since August on the production. Behind the scenes,
others have been busy on the technical side shooting the movies
that will be projected during the show, and readying a challenging scene
featuring a rain effect. Swartz highlights the dedication of the students
involved saying, Theyre been working like crazy.
Director Kelsey is looking forward to his 26th production at MCHS. The
31-year-old theater director has spent nine years teaching at the school,
and has seven years as the sole director of the theater group. He explains
the selection of Singin in the Rain laughing that,
I just like musical comedies.
He adds that I think most people have seen the film. I thought
it would be a popular show for the crowd.
Both Kelsey and Swartz hope that his prediction proves correct. Swartz
stresses the fact that the costs of the productions are paid for by
ticket sales from the previous shows. The school only pays the director
a small stipend for two of the four shows presented each season.
Singin in the Rain costs an estimated $13,000 for
the costumes, effects, production rights, choreographer and assistant
director. If the public supports us, well be able to continue
on. We would love to have a sell out every night, says Swartz.
Kelsey believes that his theater students are a good group of
kids that deserve support from the community and points out that
there are more students in theater than on the football team.
He is proud of the fact that last year the students taking part in theater
had an average GPA of 3.5. Many of his students have gone on to study
performing arts in college, and one recently served as an intern for
David Letterman. Even those who are only taking part in high school
theater as a fun hobby reap the benefits of improved public speaking
abilities and plenty of practice in conceptual thinking and problem
Swartz also invites individuals interested in supporting high school
theater to stop by the monthly meetings of the MCHS Theater Parent Organization
held at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month in Kelseys room.
Swartz became active in the group due to her own daughters involvement
in the theater.
, but she encourages anyone to volunteer saying, I absolutely
love it. She particularly enjoys seeing the process by which the
productions move from initial concept sketches to the final curtain.
Mr. Kelsey is an incredible director.
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