Van Buren’s music and drama departments are gearing up for their spring musical, Bye Bye Birdie. The musical will be performed March 21-22 in the high school auditorium.
Bye Bye Birdie follows Conrad Birdie, a former pop star, and his journey after he is enlisted in the military.
Director Mr. Vaughn says he chose the musical because, “We had decided to do one that has a lighter theme, one that would be a lot of fun for all, and good for the audience. If you have never watched it before on the stage, you are in for a treat! This was the first musical I did when I was in high school, and I was hooked from there to be in one every year after.”
This year, the staff for the musical will be a little different from previous years. Mrs. Erickson, a first year member of the musical staff, will be in charge of the drama portion of the musical, while Mr. Vaughn will be instructing the musical portion of the show. Mrs. Schwemley will be in charge of the backstage and ticket management, and Mr. Eakin will direct the orchestra pit. Vaughn hopes that this arrangement of staff will “make the musical much more manageable.”
Along with the addition of Erickson, students will experience changes in who tries out for the musical. In the past, students who were a part of choir could also automatically be in the chorus section of the musical. The chorus of a musical is a small choir that provides to the music to carry a show along. They can also serve as extras when needed. This year, students who wish to be a part of the chorus must try out as if they were trying out for a major role.
Erickson said this change was made because, “[We] really believe that the chorus can make or break a show. It’s important that students try out for the right reasons.”
Students, on the other hand, have a different outlook on the subject. Junior Aaron Scansy says, “I think only ten people have signed up so far. That’s it. No one really wants to try out.” The new tryout guidelines have some students avoiding the process altogether, especially with them also falling on the same week as exams.
With the lack of individuals trying out this year, the question is whether or not Bye Bye Birdie will be a success. Despite this, the staff is optimistic about the new experience that will come with the changes.
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