It might be time to baste the turkey, but it’s almost time to start practice for Beaver Area High School’s spring musical. As the musical theater season gets closer, cast members have one question on their minds: what show is director Mrs. Metelsky going to choose?
One of the most exciting parts of musical each year is trying to predict what show the cast is going to perform before it is officially revealed. Musical “veterans” know the conspiracies that brew before Mrs. Metelsky’s official cast list is posted. Cast members create their own theories, rumors spread, and everybody is eager to be the first to figure out the big news.
Last year, the secret slipped out early when the school board published their meeting minutes, which included a mention of approving The Little Mermaid for the 2022 Spring Musical. This was the first time in any students’ memories where the group had discovered the show before the official cast list was revealed. This year, however, Mrs. Metelsky is not likely to give it up so easily.
This hasn’t stopped members of the cast from attempting to figure it out, though. Students have been searching everywhere for hints.
Senior Gary Liu predicted: “Newsies. We’ve never done a movement audition, and it’s [Mrs. Metelsky’s] last year. She wants to go big or go home.”
In addition to the new movement auditions, Newsies has been rumored to be this year’s musical because two different pieces from the show were used for featured dancer and pit band auditions. Newsies currently seems to be the dominant guess among returning cast members.
Other ideas of possibilities range from a wide variety of shows including Les Misérables, Mamma Mia, Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, and The Sound of Music. There has also been some speculation that the show could be Into the Woods because it is one of Mrs. Metelsky’s all-time favorite musicals.
Senior cast member Anastasia Votilla thinks that the musical could be Mary Poppins.
“We definitely had a lot of fun doing a Disney [show last year] and I think she will continue that trend. Lots of people in the audience knew The Little Mermaid, and it made the performance more immersive when everyone knew the story. Mary Poppins is also well known, and I think it would make a great musical.”
How does Mrs. Metelsky choose a musical? After all of the video auditions are submitted Mrs. Metelsky, a few high school teachers, and other friends of the musical theater department carefully review each audition recording and brainstorm ideas for shows that could fit the available cast members.
After picking a few options, Mrs. Metelsky reviews the scripts of each show and begins to put together an idea of which cast members could play which characters. Things she also must take into consideration are the vocal ranges of expected leads and sub leads, the number of girls vs. guys in the cast, the show’s budget, and the scale of the production.
There is no set date for the grand reveal. Every year on a Friday afternoon, Mrs. Metelsky prints a cast list and posts it on the call board. Sometimes cast members will even anticipate the day it will be posted and wait after school for a chance to be the first to look at the list.
Although there is a lot of uncertainty, one thing is for sure: students will know the choice of musical and their roles before the beginning of winter break December 22.
As previously mentioned, this will be Mrs. Metelsky’s last year directing Beaver Area’s musical because she plans to retire at the end of this school year. She is currently directing another show, Lucky Stiff, with the Bobcat Players. Tickets for the show can be purchased at the door, at the Hostess Shoppe, or online at www.bobcatplayers.yapsody.com. Remaining show dates include November 17, 18, and 19. All three shows begin at 7:30 p.m. It’s also the first musical the adult actors have performed in years, but it has been well-worth the wait!
So, what will the high school’s musical be? Only time will tell. But trust me, as soon as this year’s cast knows, you will too.