Porter Players prepare for the spring musical

Written by Haley Wyatt, Staff Writer

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This past month, the Lockport Porter Players have begun gearing up in preparation for the annual spring musical. This year’s musical, Guys and Dolls, dives into the underground gambling scene of New York in the 1920’s to the 1930’s.

Guys and Dolls is a fun and slapstick musical about sly gamblers trying to win the heart of a young woman in a mission. The musical is somewhat religiously structured, with lots of risque topic matter and “risky business.”

The show widely incorporates dance, making for a very upbeat and fun performance. As described by Rachel Hampton, a Lockport sophomore, the show covers many intense yet fun topics that make it a very unique and fun experience.

Jake Parsons, now in his fourth year with the theater club, described the show this year as a great experience. Parsons explained, “It’s an amazing experience to be able to do such a well-loved show; it is a lot of hard work, but it definitely pays off in the end. We may be here everyday, but it doesn’t really feel like work when you’re doing what you love. Plus, the support from the school is awesome.”

Parsons has been in the program since freshman year, and this is his fourth musical; he currently holds the position of student director alongside the role of Benny Southstreet in the performance.

“This musical is a big deal – there’s lots of singing, lots of dancing, lots of costume changes, and one huge production value,” says freshman Joanna Sieczka. It has been a gigantic leap for me from One Acts (a Porter Players production last fall) to the spring musical, but I couldn’t be more excited for this performance. I am thrilled to be involved in the drama club and to be able to have this opportunity.”

The cast and crew definitely have their work cut out for them in the performance week. The Tuesday of the performance week holds two matinee performances, followed by all of the nighttime performances that week. Over the course of three months, the cast and crew work restlessly on creating a seamless production, though this doesn’t come easy.  “It begins with individualized rehearsals – one day of vocals, one day of choreography, individual scenes,” says Parsons. We then work on incorporating these individual parts into the big final picture.”

The tryouts for the show consisted of a few parts as well. It began with general auditions for acting and singing, followed by both a dance callback and a lead role callback.

“We do lots of individualized work,” says Sieczka. “As an ensemble member, we go from working on vocals, to intonation, articulations, and choreography. It is a lot of hard work and many long rehearsals, but it always pays off when we see how much we’ve accomplished.”

When asked about the environment, all of the actors had the same thing to say: Everyone is one giant family. Hampton exclaims, “It is extremely fun! I wasn’t in the musical last year, but this year has been a really awesome new experience for me [and] the people I’m surrounded by are pretty amazing.”

The biggest piece of advice the cast members had for students who wished to be in one of these performances in the future is simple: Be active, practice, keep your grades up, and stay as healthy as you can.

We look forward to seeing the show, and wish all of the Porter Players a good luck in their performance of Guys and Dolls this spring!

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Porter Players prepare for the spring musical