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The Musical Process

Marita Avery

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Musicals are an entertainment that are very unique and interesting. Each school usually performs a musical each one different than the other. With the school drama department choosing a musical there is a long process after that before a musical can become performance ready.

Musicals are plays with song and dance. They have a fast paced and dramatic storyline with really catchy songs. Musicals are usually performed in a theater or sometimes made into a movie.

Each musical is cast with hundreds of cast members and crew and can run in a theatre for many years depending on the popularity of the movie.

According to factmonster.com, musicals first began in England in the late 19th century by combining the comic stories of operetta (short operas) with the songs and dances of the music hall.

In the early 20th century, in the Broadway theater district of New York City, was the time and place that musicals developed into their modern form of a highly entertaining music and dance show.

For professional musicals they first start by hiring cast and crew and hundreds of extras to start beginning the process of performing their musical. Most of them were singers and dancers who performed in their musical.

Next, a composer writes the music and songs while the choreographer creates the dances to the music. Then singing and dancing coaches work with the performers and singers to learn their dances and their parts of the musical. All while this is going on, the set and crew people work on building the beautiful sets in the play.

Drama teacher Patrick Rexroat goes through a long process before a musical is concert ready. Rexroat said that his process of choosing a musical was long and he had to consider every factor from how much singing is in it to how much dancing people would be able to do.

Rexroat searches for many different plays and watches and reads as many plays as possible to see if something peaks his interest. Rexroat says that he has to fill out an application form that has the copyright details. Then he has to schedule days at Jerome High School that would be good days for performing the musical. They also have to buy the expensive musical which comes out of the Drama department budget, usually getting the money from year’s past musicals and plays.

At Jerome High School the audition process of a cast member is a small process. A person who wishes to audition chooses a song that is within his or her voice range that they can show off to the group of directors. Then they read a part of the play that is usually provided by the director. After everyone is done auditioning Rexroat and his co-directors choose what part everyone gets based on what they can do and what part that each student fits into.

The middle and the bulk part of the musical process is the rehearsal time and getting everything put together. This starts with finding the cast and crew members then figuring out all the singing and dancing routines.

When asked about what it takes to put on a musical Rexroat said, “It takes time and rehearsal and patience and the understanding that everything won’t be as perfect as we all want it to be. It comes together one day at a time, but that’s okay. A massive amount of details falls into place at the last minute, which is terrifying, but something that I’ve learned to trust. It’s mayhem, but joyful mayhem.”

http://www.factmonster.com/dk/encyclopedia/musicals.html

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The Musical Process