Thursday, November 3, 2016

Behind the Scenes of "A Chorus Line"

As you glance across the room the blinding lights create a hazy vision of the hundred or so people sitting in front of you, each pair of eyes staring and examining your every move, creating the strangling feeling in your stomach telling you, “welcome to the spotlight.” You’ve been rehearsing this very moment for months, so what could possibly go wrong? There’s no need to be nervous … but then again, there is. You could miss a step, you could sing the wrong line, you could get a little nervous tummy ache and, well, you know the rest. Either way, this is it. An audience awaits, the music is ready, and the show is about to begin. This is, A Chorus Line.

For the past two months, 24 Greensboro Day Upper school students have been rehearsing their next up-and-coming musical, A Chorus Line. For those of us uneducated on the musical itself, A Chorus Line follows 16 individual actors wishing to “make it” on Broadway. However, not as Broadway’s next top-shot star but as the individuals who have no character name and are simply used for their voice and dance moves. These 16 actors are trying to earn a spot on Broadway’s chorus line.

I attended a rehearsal of the show this past Thursday and I can truly say that this cast may be one of the most hardworking casts GDS has ever had. The work that they put into the musical is significant, and they have spent long nights perfecting the very smallest details. We get to see the final product of the show as they stand on stage, but behind the scenes, they’re also students, high school students who are balancing both their school work and their work in the show. Whether they are piled with AP U.S. History work from Mr. Piacenza, studying for an upcoming quiz in SeƱora Swinton’s Spanish 2, or attempting to finish a load of math homework from Mr. Ross, all of our students show an exemplary ability to figure out how to best handle it all.

Favorite scenes for the cast
Avery Blue '17 (Zach):
My favorite scene is probably “One,” which is basically a number where everybody dances and sings and I like it because it’s where everybody comes together and it sounds fantastic and it shows all the hard work. Everybody is able to show off their practice; it’s just really cool.”

Morgan Winstead '18 (Judy Turner):
“There is a series of songs that pile into one big song called “the Montage.” There’s one part where its Judy’s turn to talk and she runs down and she starts spewing out everything that comes to the top of her head. She talks about how her little sister was a brat and so she decided to shave her sister’s hair off, she talks about how her mom embarrassed her, and that she’s seen a dead body—and that’s all she says—she only says, “that was the first time I ever saw a dead body.” It’s just stuff like that, it’s random, and that’s the best part of the show for me.

Desmond McIntyre '17 (Richie Walters):
“Personally, I love the Montage. It’s really long, but it’s so much fun and it will blow your mind! Also, the ending number, “Bow,” is jaw dropping. You will definitely be in tears, have chills, everything! I love the song and I love the dance.”

Why should people come to the show?
Avery Blue '17 (Zach):
“I guarantee you’ll be able to find somebody that you can connect with on one level or another. You can come out and enjoy the music and the dancing because it’s fantastic. Plus, it’s just a good night to have with your friends and family.”

Morgan Winstead '18 (Judy Turner):
“All of the characters are really relatable and even though not everyone is playing a character that is similar to them, it still feels really human. With shows that we’ve done in the past, it’s felt like that, but I don’t think anyone’s ever felt more connected to their character than we have in A Chorus Line which is going to make it really interesting.”

Hayley Rafkin '17 (Val Clark):
“This show is different than any show we’ve done before. It’s more of a one on one experience and more personal because we interact and make connections with the audience. These aren’t necessarily fictional characters; we’re real people that are portraying a real audience process. So this is more of a story of people rather than characters.”

Laura Tutterow '17 (Cassie Ferguson):
"People should come out because as a senior, it’s very sentimental moment for me and we’ve all been working extremely hard!"

Davis Dunham '17 (Paul San Marco):
"This is definitely the most dancing we’ve ever had to do in a show before. The opening number is completely dancing and its ten minutes long. We dance at the Ballet, then we dance in the Montage but that’s a twenty minute long song. It’s so much dancing, but we’ve all worked extremely hard and it’s going to be an amazing performance.”

Lindsey Cooke '17 (Stage Manager):
“I’m the stage manager for A Chorus Line and I have been really impressed with this rehearsal process so far. This show is a lot different than ones we’ve done before, it’s the most dance-based show that’s been done since I’ve been in high school. They’ve all worked extremely hard and I know the audience is going to be able to see it!”

A Chorus Line runs November 10-13, 2016 at Greensboro Day School's Sloan Theatre. Tickets are available at

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