Student actors from Geneva High School, 101 Carter Road; Lyons High School, 98 William St.; and Mynderse Academy, 105 Troy St., Seneca Falls, will view each other’s productions despite the three musicals taking place March 10-12.
March is often called musical madness month in area high schools because two, three or more high schools often have to place their performances on the same weekend. The three theater directors recently organized a day for students to view each other’s performances a week before opening night to show their support.
About 150 students will attend Lyons’ production of “The Sound of Music” with a pancake brunch provided by Lyons Rotary Club. Geneva Drama Club will then perform “Into the Woods,” and students will enjoy a ziti lunch provided by the club’s parents. Mynderse Academy will end the day with its production of “Spamalot,” and a pizza party with dessert will be provided by Drama Club parents.
“The kids have been learning so much about performing and producing a musical,” said Mark Wlodarczyk, Lyons theater director. “They have also learned about the historical significance and the dynamics of the events surrounding ‘The Sound of Music.’ To experience each other’s shows is another way for them to learn about musical theater and an opportunity to share their passion with students from neighboring school districts.”
The idea originated between Wlodarczyk and Geneva director Larry Ann Evans. Evans, who lives in Lyons, was disappointed that she couldn’t see Lyons’ production of “The Little Mermaid” in 2016, so Wlodarczyk and Evans allowed their students to watch each other’s performances the Saturday before show weekend. This year, Geneva Drama Club member Nicolette Nault asked if Mynderse could be involved.
”There are few things that capture a high school student’s imagination like theater, and seeing other students in first-rate programs is going to be an inspiring experience for our students,” said Greg Baker, GHS principal. “I think it is a brilliant stroke on the part of our director of the Geneva musical, Larry Ann Evans; the director of the Lyons musical, Mark Wlodarczyk; and the director of the Mynderse musical, Anna Luisi, to coordinate their efforts and put on these shows for our students. I am very excited for GHS to be a part of this event.”
Lyons’ artistic staff includes assistant director, producer and choreographer Danielle Teeple with additional choreography by Alisha Schneider. The pit band director will be Katie Howard.
“Into the Woods” is directed by Evans with musical direction by Christine Sauter Milligan and choreography by Tanina Urbanski. The pit orchestra will be conducted by Anthony Calabrese.
Mynderse’s production of “Spamalot” has Luisi as director and music director. The pit conductor will be Laura FitzGerald.
“This was the perfect year to do ‘Spamalot,’” Luisi said. “We have a great group of guys that are great singers and actors. The fun thing about this show is that ensemble members have almost the same amount of stage time as the leads.”
All three shows will be performed for general audiences at 7:30 p.m. March 10-11 and 2 p.m. March 1.