Dover Sherborn High School Drama will present the legendary show, “Chicago,” at Mudge Auditorium on March 14–16, with the largest high school cast in DSHS history. To bring “Chicago” to life, in addition to the 68 students in the cast, a total of over 100 students are helping with lighting, crew, sound, set design, painting, sewing, hair, makeup, and props - to highlight just a few areas. The sheer number of students involved is promoting an inclusive, welcoming, passionate team spirit at the high school.
Claire Mackay, choreographer for the show, gives a great example of how the full cast is almost always on the stage. “In the song ‘All I care About is Love,’ it’s usually performed with six to eight female dancers supporting the male lead," explains Mackay. "However, the feather fans that we’ve added are such fun and visually pleasing that we have included all ensemble female dancers and the male dancers too (who vocally support the song). On stage, we will have around 40 cast members with smaller feather fans and six with two larger fans each. Billy Flynn (played by seniors Aidan Levinson and Ben Hodson-Walker each for two nights), will sing the song while their character is trying to convince us that he has no interest in ‘cashmere coats, diamond rings, wealth or power’ – ‘all he really cares about is true love.’ Surrounding him with ornate, over-the-top, well-dressed, attractive dancers will help the audience determine what type of character he is.”
“In addition to amazing musical opportunities for the actors," adds Geoff Herrmann, Performing Arts Chair and Music Director, "Dover Sherborn High School Drama department also has an apprentice-like program that allows all high school students the ability to get involved, gain experience and then head up committees in the areas of makeup, poster design, ad sales, costumes, hair and art - really, all facets of the production and Arts at Dover Sherborn High School.
“Over the past four years, we’ve added an art show to make this not just a performing arts production, but a truly inclusive 'arts' weekend, which includes visual arts and the performing arts,” said Jordyn Devellis, a junior who is co-chairing the art show with Isaac Hargrave and Amanda Dye, all juniors and all three in the show. “This year, as patrons enter the Mudge Auditorium building, they will have the opportunity to enjoy the hard work and passion of the art students at the high school, as well - many of whom are also in ‘Chicago.’”
“Theatre patrons will see vibrant paintings, unique ceramic projects, incredible drawings – and will even see a unique display of ‘the making of Chicago,’ which will showcase various examples of sketches in different phases of the creative process of costumes, makeup and set design, much like they do on Broadway,” Amanda Dye added.
Props also play a significant role in bringing the show to life. The prop department is chaired by Claire Whitaker and Lauren Kelly, both freshmen. “Watching previous prop committee members, including my mom, come up with creative ideas for props that aren’t found in stores was inspiring," Whitaker said. "It gave me the experience to take over the job for this year's fall middle school musical. My co-chair, Lauren Kelly, and I also find inspiration from rehearsals; being in the show allows us to see how the prop would be used and featured, and it’s cool to see a prop that you made featured on stage.”
“Props create problems and puzzles that take alternative methods and determination to solve, and it’s nice to be able to add a little personal flair to a show,” added co-chair Lauren Kelly. “For example, we are making newspapers for Chicago with not only actual headlines from the 1920s Chicago Tribune, but also small snippets about the cast."
Reserved seating ($18) and general admission ($15) tickets are on sale now at www.ticketstage.com. There will also be tickets on sale at the door, but members of the community are encouraged to get their tickets in advance, in case the shows sell out.