WHS' production of 'Fame' opens Nov. 2This year's Woodbury High School musical "Fame," which opens Nov. 2, marks the 75th show for theater directors Jon and Karen Seashore.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
This year’s Woodbury High School musical, “Fame,” holds a special place in theater directors Jon and Karen Seashore’s hearts.
“I’ve always loved this show because it’s a show about the kids we work with since so many of them aspire to be performers someday – it really rings true,” Karen said. “Plus it’s our 75th show, so it’s a fun way to celebrate that experience because so many of our students over the years who have been in musicals have gone on to perform.”
“Fame” opens at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at WHS.
The first ever show the Seashores directed was “Arsenic and Old Lace,” in 1978.
In their tenure as directors for the high school theater program, the Seashores have directed everything from the big musicals to comedies to classics to even a few one-act plays.
Even though the Seashores are slowly starting to run out of shows to do – this is the second time they’ve done “Fame” – Karen said they hope to keep on going.
“Seventy five shows is a lot of years and a lot of productions,” she said. “We have been very blessed.
“The biggest thing I enjoy is watching the magic happen, watching the kids get better and better and develop the skills that they amaze themselves with. “These kids will also learn life lessons that they will take with them in whatever they do.”
“Fame” tells the story of a group of high school students who attend New York City's High School of Performing Arts.
The show follows the students as they progress through the school.
“It’s little tiny scenes about experiences they go through – the struggles, the fears as well as the excitement,” Karen said.
Karen said the musical version of “Fame” is slightly different than the movie versions in that there are a few different songs and the characterizations are different, however some of the themes are similar.
“If they love the movie version or the television series they’ll remember the fun,” she said.
WHS senior Nathan Christensen, who will be playing Nick Piazza, said his favorite aspect of “Fame” is how relatable it is.
“It’s about high school students going through high school issues,” he said.
“Fame” posed some unique challenges for its actors this year since not only are they acting on stage, they also have to balance the singing and dancing.
“It’s hard because you have to remember you’re doing all three at once,” Christensen said. “You’re going up there first and foremost as an actor, but you have to be singing and dancing at the same time.”
Senior Angela Yang, who is playing Carmen Diaz, and freshman Elena Cressy, who is playing Serena Katz, said having to balance the acting, singing and dancing has actually helped them keep their energy up.
“It’s energizing that we do all three of them at the same time and also a little bit tiring, but it’s a different challenge,” Yang said. “It’s something new.”
“It’s kind of impossible not to keep the high energy when you’re doing so many things at once,” Cressy said.
“Fame” is one of the most dance-heavy shows WHS has done, so a lot of dancers were able to participate this year, Karen said.
“With so much singing and dancing, it’s been a challenge for the kids,” she said. “Even though that’s challenging, it’s also a joy – they love doing it.”
In conjunction with “Fame,” the Seashores will be hosting a theater workshop on Oct. 27 for elementary-age students.
During the workshop, students will work with the cast and crew of “Fame” to get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into producing a musical.
“It’s going to inspire a whole new generation of kids,” Karen said.
Karen said she is looking forward to opening night.
“I love opening night, I always do, because I know it’s going to be outstanding since the kids have worked so hard,” she said. “There’s so much excitement and love for performing that they can’t wait to show it off to the crowd.”
Christensen said he thinks “Fame” will be one of WHS’ best.
“I want to blow people out of the water with this one,” he said. “I think it’s a show that people might think they know what it is, but they’ve never seen it like this.”
Woodbury High School’s production of “Fame” will be Nov. 2-3 at 7 p.m., Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. and Nov. 7-10 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students in advance and $10 for adults and $8 for students at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at www.whsspeechtheatre.com.
The “Fame” theater workshop will be Oct. 7 from 1-3 p.m. at the school. Cost is $2 per student. No reservations are needed.