HHS Musical Theater Mounts Magical Matilda Musical

Briley Simpson and Allie Boyd

This year, Heritage High School presented “Matilda: The Musical.” “Matilda” was a fun and colorful show filled with child-like wonder and a great message for anyone who feels as if they’re out of place. Both the cast and crew worked so hard to bring the world of Matilda to life. 

The journey to make the show amazing wasn’t easy, mostly due to a weird start at the beginning of the year, but every single person gave it their all. Starting in September with three practices a week, the cast kicked off rehearsal by learning their huge dance routine. As October rolled around, three practices turned into four. While the cast was learning their blocking, the tech team was hard at work creating the magical sets that would appear on stage. Early in the semester, Heritage participated in the One Act Competition and placed second in the region, despite it being only the first time Heritage had competed. (Alex Frost and Carol Anne Giannamore both received awards for Best Male and Female Roles.) “I was really excited because we had been working really hard on it, and I had been working really hard to bring the character to life,” said Carol Anne, a junior member of the theater program—and Matilda herself. “It was cool to see that others thought that it was good too.” It was a memorable learning experience for the entire cast and crew. Everyone came into the competition not knowing what to expect, as it was the first time that everyone had to come together and put on the show. At the venue, there was limited space backstage and limited time to get everything ready. It was unlike anything they had ever experienced. That being said, everyone involved in the performance ended up having an amazing time despite the blood, sweat, and tears. It was a time to meet new people who shared similar interests, to learn new games, and ultimately to have fun, but the work didn’t stop there.

The cast and crew continued to practice every week, adding more and more to the show, given that they had only learned half of it for the One Act Competition. Show week soon rolled around, starting with an elementary school performance that went off without a hitch. As the week progressed, there were some ups and downs that the theatre program will be sure to not forget. One obstacle in particular caused the understudies to step up into the spotlight, including Jacob Trotter, who stepped into the role of Miss Trunchbull, and our very own Drama teacher and Heritage alumnus, Ms. Grayson Parker, played Bruce. She stated, “I haven’t performed in three years, so it was pretty nerve-wracking at first, but I think because it happened so fast I didn’t really have time to think about it too much. Once I was on stage, I was like, ‘What in the world am I doing?’ Then after that, it was really fun, and I enjoyed getting to do something that I never thought I’d do with the kids. I thought it went as well as it could have, and we had a lot of fun doing it.” Her return to the stage was poetic, inspiring, and a little humorous. Only having thirty minutes to prepare, both of them pulled it together quite nicely and gave a new meaning to the phrase “the show must go on.” Needless to say, every run-through was better than the last. There was a sense of camaraderie and friendship amongst everyone involved. “The Saturday night performance was electric. That’s going to go down as one of my favorite memories. To see all the work pay off and to see other people validating our kids was worthwhile,” said Ms. Peters, one of the musical directors. Closing night went out with a bang as the cast performed their best show yet to an incredible audience full of supportive parents and friends! 

However, as “Matilda” came to an end, a new beginning arose from behind the curtain: it was time to get to work on the spring musical, “Godspell.”