Directing the Magic

Student directors have a unique role in "Cinderella"

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Directing the Magic

Alison Flitter (12), Ms. Gehrke and Madison Haynes (12) are ready to take on the direction of

Alison Flitter (12), Ms. Gehrke and Madison Haynes (12) are ready to take on the direction of "Cinderella".

Lizzie Kayser

Alison Flitter (12), Ms. Gehrke and Madison Haynes (12) are ready to take on the direction of "Cinderella".

Lizzie Kayser

Lizzie Kayser

Alison Flitter (12), Ms. Gehrke and Madison Haynes (12) are ready to take on the direction of "Cinderella".

Lizzie Kayser, Reporter

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If you ask a theatre student what drama club is like, many will describe it as one big family – usually placing emphasis on the word “big.” In its short existence, the theatre program has evolved from humble beginnings on a makeshift cafeteria stage to performing large scale musicals like Footloose with nearly 100 students involved. To keep things running smoothly as their numbers increase, director Ms. Gehrke is giving new opportunities to the club’s emerging leaders.

Seniors Alison Flitter and Madison Haynes will work alongside Ms. Gerhke as student directors in their upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Working as liaisons between Ms. Gehrke and the students, they will take on some of her duties while offering unique insight into the show. 

“We have a different perspective because [Ms. Gehrke is] from the teacher’s point of view and we have the student point of view so we see what’s going on behind the scenes,” Haynes said. “It also takes weight off of her shoulders and helps the show move along because [Ms. Gehrke] has the entire show on her back. I think it helps spread that responsibility out a little bit.”

Flitter and Haynes’ main role is to look at the show’s fine details from a performance standpoint. Haynes works with student stage managers and technical crew heads to see how their work will interact with the actors; Flitter focuses on fine-tuning aspects of the cast’s scenes. 

Ms. Gehrke believes that each student director brings something different to the table that will help the show run more smoothly. 

“Alison is a phenomenal observer and she is able to work through all of the different intricacies and details that I might not think about or that might go unnoticed. Her attention to detail and her ability to communicate really respectfully with everybody is fantastic,” Gehrke said. “Madison has been one of our hardest workers backstage. Anytime something needs to be done she is running to do it and is also somebody who has a really good pulse on what is happening backstage and with the people involved in the show.”

It’s going to be a magical, amazing show. We have a lot of theatre magic that has to take place to make the entire story move”

— Madison Haynes

Their help is certainly needed, since Cinderella as a show is a large undertaking. Normal set and stage requirements are accompanied by classic fairytale magic, like giants battling the prince onstage and a pumpkin transforming into a carriage. To keep this mood, the directors need to find a flow that makes the audience feel as if they are flipping through the pages of a storybook rather than watching from a high school auditorium. 

Luckily, the team’s creative minds are prepared to take on the challenge.

Cinderella is more energetic than other shows we’ve done. There’s more imagination behind it,” Flitter said. “This will be my first and last time student directing a musical, which I think will be a really fun experience.”

Cinderella promises to be fun for its cast, crew, and audience alike. Those behind it are excited to bring new facets of theatre to the Liberty stage.

“It’s going to be a magical, amazing show. We have a lot of theatre magic that has to take place to make the entire story move,” Haynes said.  “The entire cast and crew are incredible and I cannot wait to start working with them.”

You can see Cinderella November 14-16 at 7 p.m.