Dozens of high school musicals are waiting in the wings across the Lower Hudson Valley, ready to create lifelong memories over the next nine weekends.
From “Grease!” to “A Chorus Line,” “Guys & Dolls” to “The Drowsy Chaperone,” the musicals are the culmination of months of rehearsal, set and costume construction, choreography and orchestra work that end in a precious few performances.
Come opening night, teenage stage managers will call lighting cues and scene changes, student musicians will sit forward and wait for the downbeat, and student actors will shelve thoughts of chem labs and AP English to become Cinderellas or shadowy figures beneath the Paris Opera.
Of course, students involved in this kind of drama don’t just change on stage; they evolve in real life, too.
High school musical directors — the people most responsible for pulling these shows together — get a front-row seat to these metamorphoses.
How do musicals change students? And how do high school musical directors change as a result? To find out, we caught up with a handful of directors and learned that the magic of a high school musical goes far beyond opening night.
Check out what the kids — and one more director — had to say during a Facebook conversation.