‘It’s over now..the Music of the Night..’
Last week, Michigan's South Lyon East High School became one of the latest US high schools and colleges to stage their production of The Phantom of the Opera. We've heard from the show's Set Designer, leading actors, Pit Musicians, taken a glimpse at the final Dress Rehearsal and learned about how they financed their production. In their last blog South Lyon East High School's Vice President of East Parents of Performing Students, Stacie Bethel, reflects on the production.
Wow! What a magnificent experience it was to produce The Phantom of the Opera! Our student cast, crew and orchestra brought their ‘A’ game for each performance, and we couldn’t be happier! We had record-breaking audiences, which show the incredible support of our community, as well as the family and friends of our cast and crew. Our audiences were in awe of the amazing chandelier! We are so glad ZFX decided to build this wonderful prop! Each night the chandelier received its own round of applause.
After all the months of hard work, we were more than pleased with the way the shows turned out – and can’t think of a thing we would have done differently. Advance planning between our drama boosters and our director was essential in the success of our production. Many parents/guardians and cast and crew members spent countless hours building and painting sets, sewing costumes, and making/finding props. Truly, without the help of these wonderful, talented people, we couldn’t have put on such a marvelous production.
When the last show wrapped on Sunday, May 15th, we began the long, bittersweet process of set strike. We sold quite a few set pieces and props to other schools that will be performing The Phantom of the Opera in the coming year, so it is nice to see that pieces of South Lyon East’s production will be living on in other shows. Hundreds of costume pieces and props were stored or taken for cleaning, and much of the set ended up back in the set shop, in pieces, awaiting it’s re-use in future productions.
This production made a lasting impact on all of the students involved. Since many of our leads were double and sometimes triple-cast, there was no lack of opportunity for any student who wanted to participate in the show. Each student came away with new life skills that will be invaluable in the future. Some who had never acted or sang onstage before discovered hidden talents. Crew members showed a new appreciation for the value of teamwork, and the satisfaction of making some amazing set changes in a very short amount of time.
This has been an experience of a lifetime for these students, and the magic of this wonderful story will stay with them for years to come, as they remember the part they played in our most challenging theater production to date.