Disney. When one thinks of Disney, one might think of princesses and talking animals. One usually thinks, “Oh that’s child’s play” and “That’s easy.” Let me tell you, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is anything but easy. Without the help of our amazingly talented cast and music teachers, this year’s Homestead High School musical would not be where it is today (two weeks before we open).
Rebecca Winnie, the music director, has taught challenging harmonies and “Ahhh’s” to the cast; at the same time, working with the Pit Orchestra. This collaboration is comprised of Winnie, Band teacher Todd Spindler, and Orchestra teacher John Emanuelson. These three adults teach the skilled student orchestra the thousands of notes they play in the 2 hour musical.
Furthermore, the other reason this musical is going so smoothly is that the director and choreographer, Amelia Figg-Franzoi asked the actors and dancers to rise to a very interesting challenge: block and choreograph the show themselves. What does it mean to block? That’s the movement an actor does on stage. So, while Figg-Franzoi was working with the large ensemble, the leads were creating and blocking smaller scenes. Additionally, the featured dancers created many of the movement sequences you see them in. In rehearsal, they would run away for thirty minutes and come back with a work of art.
This musical is a first for the department. It’s the first large cast we’ve seen in years, the first time Homestead’s done Disney, and the first time the cast has had an active role in creating what you will view.