A BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA
Editor's Note: This article is an extract of a much larger behind-the-scenes look we will be posting later this month.
Over the years, the divine purpose of a musical has been to unite the school through the exhibition of the amazing talents that our Settlers students possess and by bringing the school together to enjoy the performance.
This year, The Settlers High School presents their annual musical, in the form of the Musical Extravaganza. This musical incorporates a medley combining components of previous musical performances as well as new, vibrant items of famous artists such as Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Usher and many more. The theme for this musical is “the fifth element” by transporting the audience on an audio-visual journey through earth, wind, fire, water and music with colourful renditions by the orchestra, singers and dancers.
The technical crew provided the quintessential assistance required for the successful completion of the musical, by dedicating long hours doing microphone checks, changing batteries and enduring technical failures. Leo Royne, Dean Cleophas and Breyton Cupido are these learners, who dedicated their time through their commitment to their roles as the media team because of their passion for their job. “Knowing that doing my part enhances the performers’ role is what makes this enjoyable for me” said Leo, chairperson of the media team. “Being part of the media team provides a hands-on learning experience in which we explore new ideas of sound technology”.
Jesse Frankson, one of the dancers and beatboxers, commented on how challenging it is to change costumes between songs. “It is even more difficult for the girls, as many times the songs are right after one another, and the girls have a short minute to get ready”. Some of the costumes are quite elaborate as can be seen in the image above, and in such cases more time was allowed by the playing of an intermediate melody.
Creating such a stellar production required teamwork, and the dancers had a very special bond. They would hold hands while standing in a circle with their eyes closed. One person would then squeeze his/her right-hand. When the next person feels it, he/she would then do the same. The “pulse” would then go around the circle creating a sense of unity.
When Tyler Arendse was asked to comment on how it is to work with Mr Smuts, the Musical Director, he said without hesitation, “It’s always very fast-paced, yet Mr Smuts is organised like nothing else”. Interestingly, many other cast members have commented on how Mr Smuts would work tirelessly with them – sometimes not even taking a break.
After 176 hours worth of rehearsals, their first performance for the gala-evening held on Wednesday the 8th of May was a great success. With the cast and orchestra continuing their 4-day renditions over the next couple of days, one can't help but admire their determination and passion for what they love.
Written By Zakiyyah Hoosain