The Start of a Spectacular Season
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The Valenzuela Theater may seem like a foreign building to most Pres girls who only pop in once or twice a year to see the school’s latest production. But, to the members of the performing arts department the theater could not be a more familiar setting.
This past semester, the ITS officers and theater directors, Jim Houle and Heather Kenyon, have been busy producing show after show for audiences to enjoy.
The season began in October with the ITS Club’s Concert for Education, an annual charity concert which raises funds for a specific organization in need. This year, the club officers chose to donate the money towards the Presentation Sisters’ schools in Nicaragua.
The Concert for Education featured a variety of scenes, songs, and dances, including everything from a rendition of the classic Dr. Seuss book, Oh the Places You’ll Go, to a modern Taylor Swift mashup.
This lively and entertaining show served as the debut for the newest ITS Officers and was a great preview for more amazing shows they will produce throughout the year.
“I was just waiting backstage, all of us ready to come on and start the concert, and all the pieces had just fallen into place. I felt a lot of pride in what he had accomplished,” said senior ITS Officer Orla Hannon.
Next up, the theater doors opened in November to present the musical Chicago. The cast had been hard at work since late August to put together this jazz-filled production. Their determination to put on a spectacular performance definitely showed as the musical ran for three weeks with a sold out final weekend, several standing ovations, and the addition of an extra show due to popular demand.
“The audience reaction was extremely positive. Our community certainly adored the show and a lot of new people who were coming into our theater for the first time were extremely complimentary,” said director Jim Houle.”I heard many comments that it was the most professional high school show anyone had ever imagined.”
The ambitious set design, exceptional lighting, intricate costuming, and tremendous choreography combined with the cast’s talent made for a dynamic and entertaining performance that surely did not disappoint its roaring audiences.
New in the theater department is the addition of a second musical. Assistant Performing Arts Director Heather Kenyon is currently directing a production of Bring It On! which opens on January 16. This upbeat, modern musical is sure to be a showstopper with its catchy songs and high-flying cheerleader stunts.
“It’s very high-energy from top to bottom. There’s maybe one or two ballads and the rest of it is high energy with cheer stunts, cheerleading, and hip hop dance…This is just bright, fun, happy, energetic. You’re exhausted by the time they finish because they just don’t ever stop” said Kenyon.
Both Houle and Kenyon hope to make a January musical a regular piece of the theater season. Adding a second show will allow students who may have not made the fall musical, who have conflicts with the fall or spring shows, or who simply want another chance to be in a school show to perform.
The opening of Bring it On! may seem far away, but that does not mean for an empty theater. The ITS club took the stage on December 8 to present “ITS Christmas,” a cheery, holiday-themed show featuring favorite Christmas movie scenes, carols, and two original scenes written by members of the club. This performance surely spread the holiday spirit!
Although the theater department has already produced several amazing shows, this is only the beginning. Stay tuned for more entertaining shows next semester including Romeo and Juliet and Snip-ITS. With the success the theater department has already seen so far this year, it is no doubt that this season will be one to remember.