With the hot days of summer behind, Gleneagle’s musical theatre students have begun rehearsing West Side Story and MetFest’s Emotional Baggage. Justin Maller, new drama teacher, is prepared to challenge his actors with the two different plays.
After Gleneagle’s success last year at Metfest, placing second in the district, this year’s talented performers decided to step things up with a special show that does not include any dialogue.
“[This is] a challenge for the actors this time around, because we aren’t allowed to express emotions through lines, so we need to convey the whole story without speaking,” said Payton Dembicki, grade 11. Emotional Baggage is a unique show that brings the audience through a journey of the characters’ personalities.
The musical, West Side Story, follows a story line similar to Romeo and Juliet. The modern love story shows insight into problems such as immigration, gun usage, and teen violence. The show is also enriched by many dance scenes and character connections.
“West Side Story is more mature and serious; and it brings social issues onto the stage,” said Leo Chan, grade 12. Maller is putting in much of his time and resources to help the students achieve success.
“Students like to get a chance to work on something more emotional, in-depth; something [when] they can actually be a character, dealing with a problem and trying to find a solution,” commented Maller.
“This year’s training is intense,” said Chan, “I expect [that] all the crew members will do well.” West Side Story will be performed in May, while Emotional Baggage will be on stage November 27.