Marion puts on a show

The cast of Marion High School put on the production of “The Big Bad Musical” this past weekend. The musical kept audiences and the cast laughing.

We have all heard the stories about the big, bad wolf, but we never heard what happened to him after all of his crimes. Well, some of the students at Marion High School provided the opportunity this weekend for closure on this very topic.

The cast, crew and directors put on a hilarious performance of “The Big Bad Musical” which was based on a book by Alec Strum with music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur. In the musical, the Big Bad Wolf is on trial for his various crimes that all have heard about in fairy tales growing up from Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Pigs and the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Evidence was heard from both sides as the scatterbrained judge attempted to maintain control of the courtroom.

In a fun spin, the audience is the jury and they decide if the wolf is guilty or not. The ending then plays out based on what the audience decides. As a result, each performance truly could be one of a kind due to the alternate endings.

The cast all seemed to be enjoying themselves which spilled over into the audience.

“I enjoyed it a lot. It was a lot of commitment, but I was so glad in the end that I did it in the first place. It was so much fun to perform and I would do it again,” said Chisholm Waner, who played the big bad wolf.

The actors gave all they had to their characters making it believable. For example, the big bad wolf was a male but female Waner pulled off the role without a problem. She was able to make her growl sound deep and terrifying.

“I naturally have a loud voice. I feel like my director (Springer) had a feeling that with my loud voice, I would be able to do it easier,” said Waner.

The musical was produced and directed by Ruth Springer, Ann Schrick, and Steven Glover. Ruth Springer, vocal director for USD 408, was also in charge of musical direction. Springer had only planned on being the musical director but stepped in as full director in August when no one else was available.

“The musical is important to me and this school, so I volunteered to help with the overall directing. This was my first production to direct. The last few months have been a true learning experience for me as I came into this role. There were certainly obstacles and challenges from scheduling, organizing costumes, sound, stage and more to learning what to emphasize in each rehearsal, but I heartily believe the process was worth it,” said Ruth Springer.

Cassie Meyer, who played main character Fairy Godmother, also served as the student director. The pianist was Steven Glover and Jay Dee Schafers did choreography.

The cast consisted of Sadie Lange, Cassie Meyer, Emily Hake, Emma Box, Lexee Wickman, Quade Williams, Charlotte James, Hannah May, Noah Slater, Emily Hutchinson, Chisholm Waner, Anderson Wadell, Amy Packham, Arwen Fay, McKinnon Waner, Jayda Hayes, Addy Ash and Brynn Mermis. Many had never performed before.

“Given that most of the cast had never been on stage before, I was very pleased with the outcome. Each student worked hard to bring their character to life and tremendous progress was made over the course of the rehearsal process. The performances were successful, but the most rewarding part of the process for me was being able to watch students develop characteristics that extend beyond the stage. The students gained collaboration skills as they learned to interact with each other on stage and became each other’s biggest cheerleaders,” said Springer. “The students gained evaluative skills as they learned to not only take constructive criticism but self-evaluate. The students learned confidence as they went from being timid on stage to singing, dancing and acting with confidence. Getting to know each student outside of the classroom and watching them grow in these areas made the whole experience rewarding.”

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