Every year, NS’s drama productions put together a musical that captivates the community and the school. This year, the musical is The Wizard of Oz, and is directed by NS drama teacher, Alex Barlow.
“I’ve been doing theater and drama since I was eight years old,” Barlow said.
Barlow participated in drama all throughout his junior high school and high school years which allowed him to get a performance arts scholarship to Utah Valley University where he graduated with a degree in theater.
Having such an extensive background in drama has prepared him for the demanding task of leading the musical.
“I direct the show,” Barlow said. “I’m in charge of coaching all the students and helping the show come together.”
The making of the musical requires a lot of work for both the director as well as the cast members.
“If you’ve ever played a sport or anything, it’s a lot of preparation,” junior Emily Hill said. “It’s the same for drama.”
Hill plays the part of the Wicked Witch in the musical and is excited for her role.
“Being evil’s fun,” Hill said. “I like being evil.”
Senior Jennifer Boekweg tried out for the part of the Wicked Witch because, like Hill, she enjoys playing an evil part, but luckily for her, she got the second part she wanted.
Boekweg plays Glenda the Good Witch as well as being the choreographer for a couple scenes and agrees with Barlow and Hill that the musical is very demanding.
“The high school kind of becomes your second home,” Boekweg said.
The cast for the musical typically spends two to three hours of practice every day after school with some Saturdays for four to six hours. They also have to build the sets and get all the costumes and props together.
“Last year we built the majority of our sets every day over UEA break from eight in the morning to five at night,” Barlow said. “That will be similar to this year.”
Trying to find the time for the musical and school work is a tough challenge that all the cast members face. Fortunately, they are able to squeeze homework into their practices when the director is working with someone else.
“Just don’t have a social life and you’re good,” Hill said.
While the production of the musical is a lot of hard work, it always seems to pay off.
“We had good turnouts last year and a lot of people saying they liked the shows so they’ll be coming back to see it,” Barlow said. “We always get really good support from our community.”
Although Barlow is happy about the support from the community, he wishes that more students would come to the show.
“One thing I’d like to work on is getting more students to come see it,” Barlow said. “We, in the past, haven’t always had a lot of students come.”
The show is running two days longer than last year in hopes of getting a bigger attendance. The Wizard of Oz is a big name and a popular show which allows for more students to be involved in it as well as being a show that people will want to come see.
“It’s a ton of work,” Barlow said. “But it’s always worth it.”