Friends Coming Together
Lily Dwoskin, Director of Captain Louie
I am floored to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing cast of talented kids on a piece that has been with me for many years. It is an honor to direct Captain Louie at the Hedgerow Theatre School this fall.
The process began quite a while ago when I brought the project to the table. The story is one that has touched my heart. Captain Louie is the story of a young boy who is having trouble making friends in his new neighborhood, so he takes an imaginary plane ride back to his old neighborhood on Halloween, where he goes on adventures and learns the true meaning of friendship.
I thought the timing was perfect; our performance would be not long after Halloween, so some of the spookier songs like “Shadows” and “Trick or Treat” would be fun to explore. Not only that, but the lesson the piece teaches about friendship is something we, as adults, can still learn.
When it came time for auditions, I was so impressed with the talent of the kids that came out for the show, that casting was a challenge simply because I had so many kids who were right for each role.
In the end, however, this play is about coming together as friends. How right, then, that the whole of the ensemble is present for almost the entirety of the play. Every kid has an equally important role in the play, and each kid has the opportunity to shine in Captain Louie!
Learning from One Another
Dianna Jones, Education Coordinator
This was a very challenging project for the students, and the director, Joel Guerrero. Disney’s High School Musical Jr. is a dance heavy show with lots of upbeat music, and, all in all, it’s a physically demanding show that asks a lot of the performers each day. Its been a pleasure watching these kids grow into their parts, and learn how to rise to the occasion.
Joel selected the piece knowing that while it would require a lot of work, it was something that his students and their families would enjoy, as well as raise the bar of the Hedgerow Theatre School.
The rehearsal process involved a great deal of ensemble work: blocking and reviewing the large musical numbers and dance sequences were part of each and every rehearsal. Teaching the students the discipline of practice and the fundamentals of performance, High School Musical has delivered a show that has been both challenging and fulfilling.
This piece also gave students the opportunity to step into some really fun and expressive roles as the students and teachers that make up the cast of East High are quick witted, dynamic, quirky and diverse. Our students have risen to the occasion and embodied all the roles we have asked of them. To see these young performers grow from day one to performance has been an experience of its own.
Overall, our High School Musical experience was about raising the bar through kindness and encouragement- challenging the students to try something new, to grow as performers and learn from one another.