GLENVILLE — The Scotia-Glenville High School Drama Club’s spring production of “The Music Man” opens March 30 in the high school auditorium.
Performances will be Thursday, Friday (March 31) at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday (April 1) at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or online and are $10 for seniors and students and $15 for adults.
“Some of these students, during COVID, they actually didn’t get to do theater for a while. These are still some of my COVID students who had shows canceled on them,” director Michael Camelo said. “When that happened for the arts around here, kids just kind of checked out, went away from doing it, or didn’t have opportunities to do it. Getting them back in, a lot of them are super excited, they want to be here, they want to get up on stage. They lost that time that they can’t get back. Every day up on stage, I think they appreciate being here.”
The cast has rehearsed for the past three months together, four days a week, which has made them like a family, Camelo said.
“They are such a supportive group, and I think that’s what I love about working with high school kids, they just want to make it the best they can, and make great memories,” Camelo said. “I would think the show is successful not if they get the loudest applause or if they sell out every night; they’re successful if when they leave this show they have a wonderful memory. That’s the success.”
“The Music Man” was a 1957 Broadway musical, which inspired the 1962 musical film, the 2003 made-for-television movie, and more. The story follows Harold Hill as he comes to River City, Iowa, with plans to con the town into buying instruments and music lessons for a children’s marching band, then leave with everyone’s money. The town’s librarian, Marian Paroo, is suspicious of Hill, and the feelings the two eventually share for one another.
The production has 73 students involved, between the cast, the crew, the pit. A few adult volunteers assist students, run lights and other tech. Students are in charge of props, doing hair and makeup for the show and everything else, Camelo said.
“We wanted to do something more classic, a little more traditional and we wanted to update it a little,” Camelo said. “We wanted to take some of that classic music that they don’t get to do too much of in contemporary musical style. It introduces them to something new, and a different experience.”
The arts are still struggling after COVID, Camelo said. Community and educational theater programs need support, staffing and funding, he said.
“Just like everywhere, costs have gone up, to do a musical in a high school is extremely expensive, and without support from your schools, it’s impossible,” Camelo said. “People going out there and supporting, and the community coming together and going to the shows, and buying tickets and buying ads, that’s what is needed.
“I couldn’t imagine getting through high school without my theater program, and I don’t want these children, or any future children to ever have to experience that. We need to support, support, support, and show up.”
Senior Ashley Manocchi plays Marian Paroo. She said working on the production has been a wonderful experience that she and the other students have been working hard to put together.
“It’s amazing to support your local arts,” Manocchi said. “It keeps people like us really thriving because we work so hard for three months, to have people come out and realize, this is a high school that does this sort of stuff. I think it should get the same amount of support from the community that sports and other extracurricular activities do.”
The opportunity to perform on stage is not one Manocchi takes for granted after COVID, she said.
“It’s really nice to see people come back and be able to support the arts in this way after not being able to for so long,” Manocchi said. “I feel like I can truly appreciate when I’m up on stage, we’re really there, and maybe as an audience member they can appreciate that they can be here too.”
Junior Ryan Murtagh plays Harold Hill. He said this is his first lead role in a show.
“It’s obviously a challenging show,” Murtagh said. “I really like trying to think about the character more and not just learning things, it’s trying to think about the character and not just what I would do in a situation. It’s going to be a very fun show, there’s no reason not to go.”
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