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Theater department prepares for premiere of Bye Bye Birdie

The+cast+of+Bye+Bye+Birdie+performs+in+the+auditorium.+Performance+dates+for+the+annual+musical+are+February+1-3.
The cast of Bye Bye Birdie performs in the auditorium. Performance dates for the annual musical are February 1-3.

The cast of Bye Bye Birdie performs in the auditorium. Performance dates for the annual musical are February 1-3.

The cast of Bye Bye Birdie performs in the auditorium. Performance dates for the annual musical are February 1-3.

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The theater department’s production of Bye Bye Birdie will premiere on February 1 and will run every night until Saturday. Bye Bye Birdie tells the story of a famous pop star who leaves for war and the drama that follows. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

For the cast, work started at the beginning of the school year. “We started in September, and we’ve just been rehearsing ever since then,” sophomore Nicole Tucker, who plays Edna, the mayor’s wife, said. “I just love everything, the whole creative process of putting together a show and putting together a cast, and music and all that jazz.”

As the play is a musical, preparation for singing and dancing is required on top of just line memorizing. Cast members can be seen practicing dances when they have free time. “There’s a lot of crazy dance and song numbers, because there’s screaming, and we have to sound like annoying teenagers,” Tucker said. “This [show] is about fun and really expressing yourself when the music comes on.”

Considering the amount of dancing and energy required by this production, the set crew had a lot of moving parts to prepare. “In musicals, you’re pushing things on and off stage all the time,” sophomore Brady Dunne, a part of the run crew, said. “You’ve got to make a structure that people can dance on. It’s a whole thing.”

During rehearsals, the crew can be seen drilling together parts and pushing set pieces where they belong. According to senior CJ Adams, another member of the run crew, the set group started before the new year but really kicked into high gear during January. All the behind-the-scenes workers had a lot of work to do in a short period of time.

The costume and makeup crews make characters have the style of the time period. “[The time period is] supposed to be in the late 50s,” freshman costume crew member Holly Pulsifer said. “[Thanks to the show,] I know more about sewing machines. I learned about different types of stitching.”

The cast can be seen in 50’s style dresses and suits. Some of the girls can be seen wearing heels as well as Converse. “I think [the clothing] is cool,” Tucker said. “I like the whole aspect. It’s not usual for a show that you get to wear Converse.”

“It’s a Power Ranger costume with an Umbridge coat over it and a fur shawl from dead animals,” senior Caroline Martin said, who plays Albert Peterson’s “overbearing and racist mother.” “It’s very warm.”

Martin was made to look like an old woman, so her costume and makeup took some creativity and attention for the costume and makeup crew. “I do my foundation, eyeliner and the mascara,” Martin said. “Then the head of makeup does the part where I look old and crusty.”

When asked about the best part of the show, many pointed to the comedy. “It’s really over the top and ridiculous and super fun to watch,” Martin said. “I do a lot of screaming in a really obnoxious New York accent.”

Both the cast and crew are excited for the premiere. “It’s going to be a great production, because we’ve just put our souls into it,” Tucker said. “I’m really excited to have an audience see it.”

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Theater department prepares for premiere of Bye Bye Birdie