BY LILY CHESBRO
As the students at Wadsworth High near another show, there is a lot of preparation and behind the scenes action that takes place that helps this show to be able to happen. “Chicago” will be taking place on November 10, 11, and 12 at 7 PM in the PAC.
With being in a musical and taking part comes the responsibility of knowing your lines as well as the songs and choreography that goes with those songs.
Two of the leads consist of Billy Flynn and Velma Kelly played by Erik Schnell and Chloe Leavitt share their insight on rehearsals, behind the scenes memorizing of the music and lines as well as working in an ensemble to take the show from broken up blocked rehearsals to an onstage show.
“I play Billy Flynn, a famous lawyer in the show. He’s a slick, greasy man, who corrupts the judicial system for his own benefit. Billy is a theatrical character; he’s all about putting on a performance for his audience in court”, Schnell said.
This being the lead character of the show Schnell has come up with a couple different ways that he will go about performing this character to be the most accurate it can be.
“ I get inspiration on how to play my characters by watching other performers. I watched Richard Gere, who played Billy Flynn in the Chicago film, to get a sense of my character. I also watched people like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin for their showmanship, gestures, and singing techniques. All this helped me feel more comfortable with my character,” Schnell said.
As Chloe Leavitt prepares for her part as Velma Kelly, who is one of the two famous people in the town, she prepares a little differently.
“Practice, Practice, Practice. For me personally I break my lines up into sections based off of the different conversations I have throughout the show,” Leavitt said.
Both of these cast members discuss that working with other cast members to figure out their lines and working cohesively with other characters is helpful to memorizing their lines.
Mrs. Csaky and Mrs. Davis are the directors of the show. Each of them takes part a little differently in the putting together of the show.
“She takes the role of teaching us all our music and our singing parts. She doesn’t exclusively teach the numbers for the ensemble but takes time to have one-on-one sessions with the students in major roles with solos too,” Schnell said.
In addition to the music side of things choreography is put to each of the pieces to make the show come to life.
“She often oversees our choreography and will make sure that it looks its best and makes slight changes if needed. She also handles the positions for choreography,” Schnell said.
Mrs. Csaky has a little bit of a different role in co-directing the show.
“Mrs. Csaky handles a lot of the acting side to the performance. She makes sure that lines are said perfectly with the correct emphasis on certain words. She assists people in their delivery of lines and how they act in scenes,” Schnell said.
The cast of “Chicago” is required to attend rehearsals between five and six days a week. If necessary the cast has rehearsals on the weekend when it gets closer to the time of the show.
“After attendance is taken we start from a scene. It could be where we left off yesterday or from the beginning of the show or from a place that we need to improve upon,” Schnell said. “When individual performers aren’t in a scene, they can often be found practicing their choreography, singing their parts, or taking time to memorize lines; although, this is entirely up to each individual.”
Each individual is responsible for working on their lines, choreography, and songs both inside and outside of rehearsals.
As the show nears the cast is working to make sure everyone knows everything they need to in order to make the show run as smoothly as possible.”