At the beginning of the new year, Sequoyah High School students and Theater Teacher and Director Arden Thomas got together to work on this year’s Spring Musical: “Working.”
As Thomas explained in an email to the Sequoyah high school community,“Working is a show the whole family will enjoy, with Broadway-style music, dance, and storytelling. Based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers, “Working” paints a vivid portrait of workers in the United States: the waitress, the millworker, the mason, the teacher, and the fire fighter, just to name a few. Nominated for six Tony Awards, the musical features songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Schwartz, and James Taylor. Our show also features monologues we wrote based word-for-word on interviews we conducted with people in our local community.”
Cast member Lana Fleischli describes her experience as “different, because we weren’t working on [the scenes] in order,” because monologues were all filmed individually and edited together. Additionally, students interviewed people they knew to write their own monologues. Fleischli would have preferred it to take place in person as it is “harder to do from Zoom and put [your] whole self into it,” but enjoyed the dancing they did on campus.
Cast member Brooklyn Waller’s favorite memory involved dancing as well. Waller “loved the choreography and how it turned out.” While she describes the musical as “a lot of work,” it paid off at the cast party to see “it all come together in the end.”
Director Arden Thomas stated that “it was so amazing to be in person for our dance rehearsals beginning in February! It reminded me of just how much I have missed gathering together as a community. It’s been such a privilege to work with this group of actors and our entire creative team, and to see how hard everyone worked to create something excellent under crazy circumstances. Another highlight was having the opportunity to interview fifteen people in our local community, asking them questions about their jobs and school. Each interview involved about two other students who asked questions, and then we worked together to craft a 30-minute interview into a 2-3 minute word-for-word interview. That was an exciting and challenging process. The dancing and music are fun, and the monologues are terrific. I can’t wait for everyone to see it!”
Sequoyah’s version of “Working” will premiere on Friday, April 23rd at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a discussion with the Cast and Creative Team, which you can attend using the Zoom link sent out in a Friday, April 23 email from Thomas. Other showtimes are Saturday, April 24 at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m.. Tickets can be purchased with the link below.