“Legally Blonde” musical gears up for fall with new directors

Edinburgh Theatre

Maggie Del Re, A&E Editor

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From the new directors, to the the increased opportunities for students looking to be involved, to the four-legged furry friends that will be joining actors on stage, the upcoming fall musical “Legally Blonde” promises to be a big shift from the productions in years past.

Former fall musical director and English teacher Tomas Alera has passed the baton on to drama and public speaking teacher Maura Morrison, instrumental music teacher Eric Vincent, and vocal music teacher Kathrine Waters.

“When you haven’t been involved for so long then you don’t know what the changes will be,” Waters said. “But I’m sure there will be some differences [from Alera’s productions] just because of different personalities.”

One of the changes that the directors are particularly excited about is the increased student involvement they hope to incorporate. In recent years, costumes, instrumental musicians and sets for the musical have come greatly from sources outside of the school, but this year the new directors hope to pull from students, faculty members and parents instead.

“The ultimate goal is to try to involve as many students that are interested as possible, whether that’s onstage, offstage, or backstage,” Morrison said.

“I am excited for the students that will get the opportunity to do pit band,” Vincent said. “It’s so different from playing in concert band or orchestra or even a rock band. Everything hinges on what’s happening on the stage…you never really know what’s going to happen next.”

Applied arts teacher Nicole Ruffo will be the advisor for the costume designs of the play.

“I am most excited to finally see the students’ creations come to life,” Ruffo said. “And it’s nice that the school is fostering student learning in that way…we’ll be looking for other students to participate.”

In addition, art teacher George Hancin will be in charge of set designs.

Though the new directors are opening opportunities for more people in the Algonquin community, many students who have done the play before are sad to see Alera go.

“I really enjoyed working with Alera, so it’s really sad to see him go,” junior and actress Anna Hoskins said. “And a lot of the musical people heard about it over the summer; we were very stunned by it. It was unclear about what was going on. We were unsure what the plan was going forward.”

“At first I was pretty upset because everybody loved Mr. Alera and what he did for the musical,” sophomore and actor Preston Green said. “But I have no doubt in the abilities of the new directors and the musical department to make this year’s play just as good as what Alera would produce.”

 

The administration has not released any official information to students about the reason for the change in directors. Fine and performing arts department chair Amy Collins, Vincent, Waters, Morrison and Alera all declined to comment on the shift.

However, Alera did state that he wishes students the best of luck with this year’s musical.

“Even though a lot of us were upset at first, we’re excited to see how it goes,” Hoskins said. “We’re trying to have a positive attitude about it.”

Although it has been a few years, this is not the first time Morrison, Waters, and Vincent have directed school productions together.

“It’s good to be back with the band,” Morrison said. “They’re fun to work with; they’re very professional, and it’s fun to see the connection that Ms. Waters and Mr. Vincent also have with the students that are going to be involved in the show.”

Though the directors do not feel they have much to be nervous about, one risk they are taking is including a dog on stage.

“It think it’s the first year there’s a real live animal on stage, because there is a role for a dog!” Collins said. “I’m most nervous about the dog! That sounds silly, but I’m a positive thinker. I’m not thinking big-picture issues happening. I’m excited about seeing the art teachers, the drama teacher, and the music teachers get to collaborate on something.”

Students looking to get involved behind the scenes with music, set design, sound-mixing, costumes, hair, or makeup should contact [email protected]

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