By Sarah Teeter
This spring, the musical cast put on the show “Big Fish” which is based on the novel by Daniel Wallace, and the Colombia Motion Picture. The movie was adapted to musical form by John August, and the songs were written by Andrew Lippa. On November 19th, auditions were held for the cast of “Big Fish” by the producer, Rachel Janzi.
“When you go into the audition, you have to fill out an audition sheet and list your theater experience, voice skills, and which role you’re specifically auditioning for, and prepare a sixteen measure theater piece.” says Liz Fulcher, who played the part of the witch in the musical. “Within the week, we all found out our roles, and not long after, the scripts were distributed so that we could run over lines and get the plot of the play.”
With auditions out of the way, the first read through occurred the week before break, and official rehearsals started the day students came back from winter break. The cast started out by learning the music and songs first and practicing with Holly Swartzendruber in the choir room. After everyone had learned the music, they started blocking out the scenes with intros and outros.
After about two months of rehearsal, the show was ready for the public. For the choreographer of the whole show, Liz Fulcher said that her favorite part was the last two weeks, when all the lines, dances, and music were fully ready, and the members of the show get to rehearse in costumes with full lights and accompaniment. At this point the fine tuning is all that is left, and it starts feeling like a show.
The rehearsals were long and difficult but in the end, it was all worth it. “For the cast as a whole, we were challenged a lot by the intros and cut offs for the music. The music was so unique that the intros were complicated and hard to follow. Often times we had to start singing on a silent beat, and we were often scared that we were going to come in at the wrong time.” However it can be collectively agreed that the best part for the cast occurred toward the end of the show, when the audience was visible engaged and emotional and could connect to the show via their own experiences. The show was able to tell a story and even help some get closure in their own lives. “I loved that I was able to tell a story that people really enjoyed and related to.”
As the majority of the shows completely sold out, it was clear that the audience took great delight in all the effort the cast gave to put on such an enjoyable show. “Overall the whole cast really had a great attitude and were very eager to learn. It was obvious that we all had one goal: to put on a great show” Liz Fulcher concluded.