There are numerous traditions throughout the school season, including dances, football games, spirit weeks, music concerts, plays and one in particular — musicals.
Every year Alton Middle School puts together a musical to perform for their family and friends, as well as the community. This year their production is “Hairspray,” chosen by their director, Paul Pitts.
“This is my first year at AMS,” Pitts says. “And I wanted to do a musical that was more popular that would bring in a lot of students to create a more diverse atmosphere.”
While Pitts has put hours of work into getting the musical ready, the students have done the same.
With approximately 50 students in the musical, not including the crew, there has been a mountain of work put into getting the musical up to par. There is only so much time to prepare, therefore, people have to know what they are working with as well.
“In this time, we have things like the ‘Nae-Nae’ and the ‘Quan’ that is a completely different world than when this particular musical takes place,” Pitts says. “The students really have to adjust everything to know the style of the show. The vocals and dancing have to be done the way they were back then and the costumes have to be more of the 1950-’60s style.”
Getting the choreography down as well as the singing is all done during the week after school at the 2-hour to 2 1/2-hour rehearsals.
“Usually at the end of such a long rehearsal, the students want to keep going and are sad it’s over,” Pitts says. “They wish they had more time to rehearse.”
Theater isn’t only about putting in the hard work to make sure the show goes on; it is also forming bonds as well as friendship with fellow actors and crew mates.
“I love the air around the students. They put a lot of work into the show. Most of them design the costumes along with the sets, hair and makeup. They have a lot of fun doing everything and just seeing all of these students come together is great.”
The AMS musical will be performed Nov. 19-21 in the Alton Middle School Auditorium.
“I hope people come to the show,” Pitts says. “It’s going to be great and I think we will really set the bar.”
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