RHMS Spring Musical Warms Audience’s Hearts
Rocky Heights Middle school (RHMS) drama students didn’t hold back in their recent spring musical performances of Frozen Jr. The performers followed Elsa’s advice for their acting inhibitions and “let it go.” Their hard work, practice and stage presence paid off.
Drama staff at RHMS is actively working to build the department and interest in theater at school. “Since we are really trying to build up our program, we wanted to pick a show that would get a lot of kids excited,” said director Zachariah Smith.
This year’s musical success took about 120 students working together as cast and crew. Practice ran four days a week for nearly three months, culminating in three performances in early April.
Smith is the RHMS choir and guitar teacher. He’s new to both RHMS and teaching this year, so Frozen Jr. was his first opportunity to work with so many students on one project at RHMS.
“One of the most memorable moments was when we received our costumes. There was a lot of commotion and excitement, but it was especially centered around the Olaf and Sven costumes – both of which were really cool!” Smith said.
While most of the action took place on stage, portions of some scenes happened on the stairs and open second-story hallways surrounding the audience. Having some of the action above and behind the audience added to the complexity of the show.
“Managing the myriad of variables (blocking, choreography, singing, props, costumes, background music, set changes, etc.) was the most challenging aspect of directing the show,” Smith said. “None of these are terribly difficult on their own, but it is really challenging for all of us to find our own place within all of these parts when the show actually begins running,” he continued.
Like the cold for Elsa, all the facets of a musical like Frozen Jr. “never bothered” the staff and students involved. They performed well for several hundred spectators at each show.
“The response was overwhelmingly positive,” Smith enthused. “Each night the parents were extremely supportive. The Rocky Heights staff is and always has been tremendously supportive, and we really could not have put on this production without their help,” Smith said.