By: Steph Wetzel, Kasey Vangelov, Caroline Schnabel, Nicole Kazmierczak
Williamsville East has been known for their music department for several years. Between Winterfest and the musicals every year, the students never fail to impress their audience. The cast for the musical this year, The Wiz, includes Anna Kresse as Dorothy, Adam Kluge as the Scarecrow, Carter Richards as the Tin Man, Anthony Lafornara as the Cowardly Lion, Elena Izquierdo as Addaperle, Brennan Mawhinney as the Wiz, and many more.
Cast members said they enjoyed working together. “We’re a close group. When a group of friends work in tandem, the outcome is wonderful,” sophomore Adam Kluge said.
By having a cast in which its members are so close, East has created a strong Drama department. “Being in the musical is an experience truly like no other. Your cast members become more than the people that you do jazz squares on stage with. They become your family,” junior Trish Picklehaupt said.
Many of the people who saw the preview or went to one of the shows were pleased with what they saw. “The musical was so much fun to watch! There is so much talent and it must have been a lot of hard work,” Junior Natasha Ionava said. Between their frequent jokes and pleasant singing, the cast put on a show many say was worth seeing. “It was phenomenal. I couldn’t believe how coordinated and talented all the actors and actresses were,” junior Grace Costello said.
Although the cast is praised for the musical, they are not the only people who made this show possible. The Pit Orchestra is one other section that influenced the performances that were put on. Pit Orchestra member Zekeriya Spoth said, “Honestly, this year had a cast where every single singer and actor was so talented and perfect for their part. Go Pit!” Stage Crew was also a major part of the musical. Rachel Xue, the stage manager, and the rest of the members worked just as hard to make sure the show was a success. “This year everything for the most part ran smoothly. We have cool effects due to the smoke machine and large props,” senior and stage crew member Lauren Mcguire said.
The director and choreographer Gracie Schupp was one of the main people involved with the show. Students and teachers were also major parts of this as well. Mrs. Reilly was the vocal director and producer, Mrs. Mahaney was in charge of the program book, and Abbey Naples was in charge of the makeup. Abbey has done the makeup for the musicals for Seussical and Shrek as well.
It is clear that the show would not have been able to go on without its many contributors including the performers, pit orchestra, stage crew, costume and makeup crew and many others. “I would have to say that The Wiz has been the most successful performance I’ve been in so far at East. Everything from the costumes to the choreography was so much more performable,” Picklehaupt said.
The show times for the musical included Thursday and Friday night at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 2:00 and 7:00 PM, and the in school preview on Thursday. The preview revealed playful scenes from the musical. It also revealed how hard the performers worked on the show.
The Drama department here at East was nominated for a Kenny, an award for outstanding high school theater. That just shows how hard the participants work on the performance.