Behind the curtain at Northside Gal

Secrets behind a great show

Cameron Bolton, Rebecca Rusiecki, Lauren Grimaldi, and Hannah Pecis

This was the first year that teachers Tom Dignan and Kathleen Harsy have directed the school musical.  Harsy has worked on speech team and Dignan has directed Shenanigans in past years.

Rebecca Rusiecki

This was the first year that teachers Tom Dignan and Kathleen Harsy have directed the school musical. Harsy has worked on speech team and Dignan has directed Shenanigans in past years.

Cameron Bolton, Staff Reporter

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Reporter Cameron Bolton performed in this year’s Spring Musical.  These are his personal observations behind the scenes.

Auditioning for this year’s musical, Northside Gal, provided some challenges for new directors Tom Dignan and Kathleen Harsy.  Because the play was based on the songs of JD McPherson, a male singer, much of the music had to be converted for female singers.  Those who wished to audition learned songs that they were auditioning for by ear.

The auditions themselves involved the students arriving at the auditorium at the time they signed up for, where they would perform in front of Dignan, Harsy, and band director James Baum. What the auditions entailed was singing part of whatever song that person had chosen to audition with and then reading from the excerpt of the script that they had given them.

The following Friday, after auditions callbacks were held, the cast list was finally posted. I was among the twenty-something kids who were lucky enough to get in and practice began soon afterward. This year, practices were slightly different due to problems with converting the original music by JD McPherson for female voices. The result was that those in the cast then had to learn all of the music by ear. Also, during the majority of practices, we focused on the blocking until we were finally able to get the music.

At the beginnings of rehearsals, we would act out the scenes themselves and then the directors would improve upon the blocking that we had. Of course that was when we actually were needed on stage. When we weren’t needed on stage, you would find the majority of the cast talking in the wings (or at least until the directors told us to be quiet) while we waited to go on.

Actually, one of the nice things about being in the musical was that I made so many new friends. We were all one big happy family and that was great for me personally as it got me through some of the more stressful times at practice.

An upside to the way that things were done this year was that we were always able to end at 5:30 or before and that we were able to start arriving in costumes and practicing before Tech Week, which is the week that that usually starts.

The days leading up to the show were slightly nerve wracking as there were several things that we had to fix before the show. The practice for the whole English Department also helped as it showed that we were able to adjust to situation changes and still do a good job. It was also really funny as we were all entirely on stage getting ready for the curtains to come up when the fire alarm sounded.  While some were upset, I looked at it this way:  in a week, we were going to look back on this and laugh.  Personally I was already laughing then.

The shows themselves where we performed for the everyone went much more smoothly than I thought it would. Everything just came together and worked itself out. The entire cast even got to meet JD McPherson after one of the shows. Right before our final show on Sunday in order to get us all pumped up for vocal warm-ups we sang favorites from “The Wiz”, “Seussical”, and this year’s “North Side Gal.”  This ended a truly unforgettable experience that I would recommend to anyone who likes to perform.

About the Contributors
Cameron Bolton, Staff Reporter
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Cameron is a returning member to Clarion this year. He loves reading and writing, in addition to watching movies and TV shows.  He has been apart of several  activities at RB, such as the band, choir, NHS, Day of Service, speech team, and the school theatre productions. Cameron can be reached at [email protected]t.


Rebecca Rusiecki, Editor in Chief
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Rebecca Rusiecki is thrilled to begin her third year on the Clarion Staff. As Editor in Chief, Rebecca has big plans for the paper. She is a Senior and hopes to use her last year at RB covering school events and improving the paper.

In addition to journalism, Rebecca also enjoys tennis and badminton. She participates on RB’s Model United Nations, Speech Team, and is a class officer for the class of 2014. She is obsessed with politics and loves to debate. She plans to study political science, go to law school and become further involved in government and politics.

Rebecca Rusiecki can be reached by e-mailing [email protected]

Lauren Grimaldi, News Editor
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Lauren Grimaldi is very excited to spend her last of high school as an editor on Clarion. When she isn’t writing superb news stories, she can be found watching tv and cheering on the Blackhawks to another Stanley Cup.

In the past, Lauren has participated in Badminton, RBTV, and Seussical the Musical for which she won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a jungle animal/courtroom person. Next year, she hopes to attend college in Chicago and major in Political Science.

Lauren can be reached at [email protected]

Hannah Pecis, Media Editor
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Hannah Pecis is retrning to Clarion for fabulous year three. She can’t spell to save her life, so she has been greatly honored to work on a school paper that uses spell check. She enjoys telling pointless stories about inanimate objects. She also enjoys playing Slenderman and having bonfires with her friends.

When she isn’t wasting time she is playing golf or badminton, she is also an ever learning photographer. She loves writing and spending endless amounts of time with her friends. Hannah tries to live her life as environmentally friendly as possible, and loves her 3 cats, fish, turtle, frogs, dog and bunny. She is six feet and a quarter inch tall.

She can be reached – just kidding, she is too tall to be reached — but if you would like to contact her email her at [email protected].

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
Behind the curtain at Northside Gal