BY ANTONIO CHAPPA —
Shorewood Drama plans to present South Pacific, from May 19-21. “I’m excited because South Pacific is a classic, an old style musical,” said Joe King, director and drama teacher.
While the cast is mainly composed of high school students, there are some seventh and eighth graders joining the cast to match the needs of the play. South Pacific includes a multitude of songs and choreography, all of which require large group numbers, and therefore a large cast.
“I am enthusiastic for the big group numbers, the quality of songs and also the choreography,” King said. The drama community is introducing a classic which hasn’t been done in a while.
“South Pacific is a pretty new, a pretty exciting show. We haven’t done a classic in a while and we are excited to show the community something new and exciting,” said Makayla Campbell, sophomore and ensemble member.
However, in order to pull of such an incredible performance, a great set is required. “One of the essential things that a great show must have is a great set. Tech spends many hours into perfecting their craft making sure that the set looks realistic. One of the great things about putting set together is figuring out where and how to put something together and making it look great,” King said.
Maylan Thomas, technical director, agreed. “You can build things and solve things, [and] one challenge is figuring out how to build a set, and I love to see how students not only grow as builder but also as wonderful people,” Thomas said.
Not only does building a set for a show take long hours, but also dedication “There are two phases of building a set which is divided into the logic and also the physicality of it,” Thomas said. “It can take anywhere from 40 to 60 hours to think up of the scenic layout and then it takes another 40 to 60 hours to figure out all of the technical problems and then finally it takes an additional 6 full weeks to complete the set.”
The relationship between actors and the “techies” is vital in the process of creating a great musical. “We are a big theater community where everyone has a role to play, everybody is putting in the sweat to make it the show that we want it to become,” Thomas said. “I also acknowledge the fact that as a theater community how fortunate we are to be able to have not only a theater program but also a tech department, which is very student focused and student driven.”
Unlike previous performances of Cabaret, and American Idiot, which have been considered controversial for their themes and language, South Pacific is more family friendly.
“South Pacific is a great addition because not only is it family friendly, but it is not quite as controversial as Cabaret, American Idiot and also Little Shop of Horrors,” King said.