School Musical: Why so Popular?


Porter LeBlanc, Staff Writer

This year the school musical has received an exponential increase in students interested in performing. Compared to last year’s production of Les Misérables, the number of people cast this year grew by almost 160%, ending with a cast and crew of about 114. Why the sudden increase in growth?

It seems that many join the performing arts as a way to connect with people outside of a classroom setting. Senior Jace Pulley, who plays the role of the Beast, said, “I feel like, similar to a sports team, the cast becomes a family by the end of the show.” He adds, “The cast starts to get closer as the rehearsals become longer.” In addition, he comments that pre-show warmups, including prayer circles and cast meetings, “really unite people.” Junior Heidi Lasson said one of her favorite parts of the experience is “when there’s the ‘we’re all in this together feeling.’ When you, the cast, and the audience connect personally to an experience, a story, miracles happen.”, Lasson explained that bonds between cast members are formed when “the mistakes, the hilarious improv, and the victories we have together make memories and connections that can never be replaced or forgotten.” 

In a world where so many relationships are based on technology communication, the performing arts are a doorway into real-world and long-lasting connections. They are made over silly falls, late rehearsal nights, and connections to a story. Mrs. Olreich, the director of the show, explained that the most important thing about the experience is “Connecting kids with each other and building relationships and confidence. That is why I’ve done this for so many years … I do it because someone did it for me.” If any show embodies a message like that, it is Beauty and the Beast. It is a story about a connection between two people and the magic it created.