It seems as if every year the stories about the musicals all revolve around success. This year was no different.
This year, Director Betsy Dutton took on “The Secret Garden”, based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. According to Dutton, it was a success.
“I thought it went very well,” she said. “It is a very hard show to do because musically it is very difficult. Some high school students didn’t like it because it is very metaphorical and very symbolic, but by and large the adults did because it is so hard to pull off.”
“The Secret Garden” uses multiple different symbols to get all the plot’s messages across, one of which being multiple actors representing different ghosts who are haunting the house.
“I did a primer in the program to explain the ghosts just so everyone would get it, and while I don’t think everyone did, I think a lot of people did get it, and understand what was happening with the ghosts with, or without reading the primer,” Betsy said.
Senior Lead will Dutton had this to said about the symbolic meaning behind the ghost actors.
“I think most high schoolers undderstood it a lot better then we thought, and it made the show more enjoyable,” he said.
The ghosts would be part of specific scenes, sometimes even interacting with the actors to further the plot. For the actors this provided a different feel than that of a normal part.
“Being one of the dead people, you had to act in many different ways throughout the first act alone,” junior Aniston Ramsey said. “We had to act dark and mysterious.”
While the acting proved to be difficult, Betsy gives praise to the musical side of the actors’ performance.
“We had the vocalists to pull it off,” she said. “We had people who could sing the very difficult parts, and that caused people to enjoy the show more.”
Senior lead Kyler Comley shared the same outlook as Betsy.
“I will never forget the singing from this musical,” he said. “It was a ton of fun to do because we got to sing a lot and stretch our ranges.”
Having good musicals could be considered a tradition in Sterling, and that doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
“I saw plenty of growth,” Betsy said. “The fact that we had a lot of underclassmen acting out hard roles and singing them well shows nothing but growth.”
The play was also highly condemned by those on the cast.
“I was really proud of everyone,” Will said. “I was really impressed with (junior) Mia Stinemetz. She wasn’t really off stage for more than one or two scenes, and to carry that work load and be as cheery, on and off stage, as she was really portrayed her character well.”
Will went on to discuss the upcoming of what he considered a surprise actor.
“One that I think stood out to everyone was (sophomore) William Weiner,” he said. “I think he sold his role really well. You could tell it was a fun roll for him and that he really enjoyed the singing. His duet with (junior) Katie Comley didn’t make me cry, but I definitely came close.”
In a show as difficult as “The Secret Garden”, cast cooperation would be considered a must.
“I think our cast really came together. You can tell we came together show week,” Will said. “During my senior speech after the show, I couldn’t help but tell everyone how much I enjoyed them all, because we all had different talents. From my mom directing, to (junior) John Schweizer clocking in 40-plus hours on the set, it brought us to put on a show we can all be proud of.”
When the lights go up, it all comes down to the execution from the entire cast.
“Musicals are all about doing your job, so the next person can do there’s,” Comley said. “It takes a lot of us to put on a musical, and we all have to do our jobs, and I think we all did our jobs great.”
Will had the same stance.
“Top to bottom, everyone came together. The two weeks leading up to the show there were some tough moments from everyone, and we really toughed it and stayed up to par with the expectations we had for ourselves.”
With seniors playing a few key roles, they seem to cherish the memories made and the feeling of finishing on a good note.
“Just being out there with all my senior guys one last time made it an awesome experience,” Comley said. “I definitely won’t forget that.”v