From Script to Stage: Behind the Scenes of High Noonish

With their first play of the year, the theater department brought High Noonish, an original melodrama spinoff of the 1950’s western film High Noon, to the stage of the Performing Arts Center.

“Because it’s an original we can kind of cater it towards our school,” Allison Martinez, freshman, said.

“It’s super quirky and very fun,” Jenna Shechter, sophomore, added. “It’s not like your typical play, it’s a melodrama, so everything is super over the top, super dramatic.”

For the past two months, students have been working every day after school to learn lines, rehearse dances, practice songs, and bring the whole play together.

“I loved the creative process and it was collaborative,” Marilyn Strange, theater teacher, said, “I’d give them suggestions and they would go an take it to the next level.”

In their first rehearsal, the cast members read over their lines, developed characters, and imagined how the play would look in the end. During this process, the actors and actresses work closely with techies, who stage the play, create designs for lighting, and prepare the set. Shechter explained that communication between the performers and the techies is critical in creating a cohesive play. “I think people undermine how much work they do,” Shechter said.

As opening night drew closer, the performers practiced with their two singing coach Paul Taylor and choreographer Jeff Wallach, to perfect their songs and dances.

“If the acting isn’t strong then the music can’t be strong and vice versa,” Shechter said. “I think it’s really important for any play to have … an equal balance of both.”

With just a few days left before their debut performance, the cast members began rehearsing in full costume, along with lighting and sounds cues from the techies. “Everything kind of falls into place the last rehearsal before the show,” Shechter said.

After weeks of long rehearsals, High Noonish premiered on Nov. 5. Strange explained that on that night, she was both nervous and relieved.

“It’s been a long process,” Strange said. “It’s nice to sit back and see … the collaboration all come together with this beautiful piece.”

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