Your 2014 State Council

Your 2014 State Council

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thoroughly Modern…Student Director?

This past winter, aside from State Leadership Conference, Capital Days, and local 4-H clubs and events I dedicated time to, I spent many evenings at my high school as a student director of the musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Filled with talented leads, scary stenographers, intense tap numbers, possible white slavery, crazy Chinese people, speakeasies, attractive male singing, and elegant jazz singers, the production of Millie was quite exhilarating.

Keeping with my eventful senior year, becoming a student director was yet another new position that I found myself in this year. Though I was in two musicals when I was in junior high school, high school level musicals are naturally a much higher caliber of production. With shows that are compared to the quality of a Broadway musical, it is safe to say that my high school is well known for their musicals. Hence, becoming a student director taught me a great deal about musical theater.

Being a student director simply meant I was there to be the right hand woman when our director needed something done or when there were stage directions, blocking, and other notes to be made. When show week rolled around, I was back stage helping the costume moms with the final alterations. It was a great feeling knowing that I was putting to use the sewing skills 4-H taught me when I sewed hem after hem after hem! Of course a show is not compete without numerous quick costume changes backstage and who better to help the actresses out than a fellow cast mate? Prior to the shows, it was a hoot trying to help the boys put on their makeup to make them pop on stage. I even got to experiment with my own ridiculous stage makeup because I had a special cameo role in the last scene being the new girl in town or the “new Millie.”  
With the last four performances at my high school being extremely popular shows such as Beauty and the Beast (2007), Les Miserables (2008), West Side Story (2010) and Phantom of the Opera (2011), the cast members and I found it difficult to market the musical to the community and our class mates. Many people questioned how those performances would be topped with a musical that nearly no one had heard of. Our director set a goal for us: to encourage our classmates to attend and our support hard work. He felt that only the older members of the community and veterans of BASH musical productions were patronizing the musicals yearly and he wanted to see younger generations supporting the productions. I can confidently say that we achieved that goal because we had great crowds filled with supportive fellow classmates and friends. Word got out that our show was thoroughly impressive and each night the auditorium got progressively fuller. By our fourth and final performance, the auditorium was nearly sold out!

I am grateful I had the opportunity to share my time and talents with my school musical and that I was a part of something that is so huge in my school and community. I had a blast getting to know a talented cast and a remarkable director in the four short months the show came together. The excitement of show week and the bonding with my fellow cast mates are moments I live for and I will cherish the unforgettable experience I had with Boyertown High School’s production of, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

Cecilia Stuetz
Pennsylvania State 4-H Council Secretary 

"Individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." - Vince Lombardi

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