Pratt High School play director Rose Beilman had a unique situation when she put on “The Little Mermaid” at Liberty Middle School. Because of conflicts among cast members, the first time she had the entire cast together was the opening night of the play.
This is not an ideal situation for any play director so Beilman decided to try a new approach to rehearsals and when the play production would be presented.
As an experiment, Beilman, along with music director Brandon Wade, decided to try having rehearsals during the summer and presenting the play at the end of the first week in September.
This would get the play over the first week in September and hopefully eliminate enough of the conflicts to get several rehearsals with the entire cast before opening night, Beilman said.
In order to make this work, Beilman and Wade held auditions for the fall play during the last week of school in May. It was a risk but it looked like it paid off. Many students came to the two nights of auditions this week for the fall musical, “Aladdin Jr.”
The big response was a positive sign that having rehearsals over the summer would mean more students could attend and give Beilman more time to work with the entire cast before opening night.
Part of the new rehearsal process will require cast members to start with two days of intense music rehearsals on June 24 and 25. Once the cast has tackled the initial music rehearsal, they will have another month to get the songs learned so they can put the last weeks of rehearsal together without having to look at the music.
One of the problems with casting, rehearsing and performing the show all in the fall is that some cast members are busy with activities other than the play that also require a commitment.
Students in fall sports often had conflicts that made it difficult to get everyone in a specific scene together for a rehearsal.
Just as sports teams need to practice together to become more efficient, the more the entire cast practices together the better their timing and interaction among the cast members.
The fall production of “Aladdin Jr.” will be presented on Sept. 5, 6 and 7 at Liberty Middle School. The production will feature the familiar characters and songs from the popular animated film and is definitely a family oriented musical.