St. Stephen the Martyr Musical History
In the Beginning...
It all started years ago when a few parents made an observation. Auditions were held for the school musical. Dozens of aspiring actors tried out for parts but only 6 made the cut. The rest were sent home and left out of any hope for participating in a theater experience.
After seeing the tears and disappointment parents Rose Benda and Anne Byrne came forward to head up an ALL NEW concept the following year. They devised a plan for involvement for any student who wanted to participate. They believed that ANY child in the school who wanted to be involved in theater should get that chance. They hired professional directors who could provide that experience but also had a knack for expanding the number of roles in the production. For the first production of "The Wizard of Oz" they gave the leads to multiple actors. There were two "Dorothy's", two "Scarecrows", two "Tin Mans", etc. The leads would go to middle schoolers. The "extras" would be the grade school kids. The grade school age kids were the "Flying Monkeys", "The Castle Guards", the "Munchkins" etc.
Singing ability and acting ability did not matter. Parts were found for everyone. Over the years the kids evolved into more duties. They became involved in any aspect of the production they wanted. Many worked back stage and on Tech Crew. A rare experience at the pre-High School level.
When you see the show this year know that the kids are putting on the entire show under the supervision of professionals and volunteers. The kid act, sing, design the sets, make props, run the lights, sound, spotlight, curtain, and more. Any child involved gets a quality theatre experience. Many of our kids go on to be involved in high school plays and come back to help out as volunteers. They credit this program for fostering their love of theatre which is what it is all about.