Musical Theater Presents Waitress


Photo by Emma Leibowitz

Ashley Dong, Staff Writer

The Musical Theatre Workshop class, collaborating with Stagecraft, held their first performance since the pandemic Sept. 24. Performing the opening scene from the musical Waitress, students and teachers had to adjust to being back in the theatre.

“I was nervous before the show started because I forgot what it felt like to perform. As soon as the curtains opened, I remembered how safe I always feel on the stage,” junior Ella Bradley said. The class performed the song, “Opening Up,” which is the opening song in the musical Waitress. With the last performance before quarantine in March 2020, most students have not performed on stage in over a year and a half.

New COVID-19 protocols required some adjustment. “Being back in the theatre felt wonderful. But while we were in there rehearsing with the masks, we realized that it’s hard to tell who’s singing because you can’t see the lower half of people’s faces,” Musical Theatre Workshop teacher Meredith Hawkins said.

Despite these challenges, the show must go on. In the theatre, curtains rose on the fully-costumed cast sitting in a diner, which was put together by Stagecraft. Various soloists delivered their parts while moving through both simple choreography, such as pretending to pour coffee into a mug, or more complex movements, like a group dance.

At the end of the performance, four teachers, including Hawkins and Heather Cousins, the drama teacher, climbed on stage, sat at a table, and each picked up a hand of cards. After shuffling the cards around, they ran off stage, reentered wearing pajamas, and continued their card game. This is how they announced the spring musical, The Pajama Game. IMBd describes it as a musical about a worker in a pajama factory that falls in love with the superintendent, whose job is to shut down the workers’ protests for a pay raise.

The Pajama Game is just wonderful musical theater. There’s this dance sequence that opens up the second half, but there is no point to this dance and it doesn’t even make sense why they’re dancing. So, it’s ridiculous when you think about it, but so is musical theater. And that’s why I love it,” Hawkins said. 

Furthermore, the musical contains many characters, which makes it perfect for the large class. “We can give more people the opportunity to have a speaking part or a solo so that it is more of an ensemble cast,” Hawkins said.

Although it will take some adjustment, students are content just to be back in class. “I’m so excited to be working on this year’s musical! It feels so nice to have a sense of normality back in the musical theatre world,” senior Aiden Dhaliwal said.