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Behind the Scenes: Cats

Photo by: Ciara Reed
Photo by: Ciara Reed
Photo by: Ciara Reed

By Ciara Reed

This spring, the Tuscarora drama department will be performing the famous Broadway musical Cats, on April 30, May 1, May 2, and May 3. Cats is a world renowned musical based on the book, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. The show tells the story of a tribe of cats, known as the Jellicles, who are auditioning for the chance to be reborn into a new life. This Broadway production includes a variety of musical genres, such as classical, pop, music hall, jazz, rock and electro-acoustic music, as well as a huge element of dance involved. The show consists of twenty-six cats, six featured dancers, and three singer/dancer cats.

The Tuscarora cast of Cats began their first day of rehearsals on Wednesday the 14th, and will continue to rehearse every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday until 6pm. However, what is rehearsed after school varies depending on the focus of that particular day; some days consist only of music, where they rehearse in the chorus room and work on songs, some days are designated for blocking, with the purpose of adding movement to scripted lines for dramatic effect, and other days are choreography days, where they solely work on learning and practicing dance steps.

Senior Milan Ball is in charge of making the Jellicles come to life, as she must design and re-create the intricate and unique costumes of the musical. “The costumes will have the same concepts and structures [as depicted in the original Broadway show], but the design will have some of my original aspects to it as well,” said Ball. A similar and difficult task is assigned to junior Daniella Roberge, who must replicate the detailed feline makeup of the original Cats for Tuscarora’s performers.

“To be honest, I’m nervous! It’s a hard show, and I’m choreographing, so it is a lot of pressure. But all of the students seem passionate about it, so we will definitely pull it off,” said Carly Smith, a senior, when asked her initial impression of the musical.

The cast is absolutely ecstatic about being a part of such a well-known theater production. The musical and dance talents of Tuscarora’s drama department will definitely be in the spotlight come opening night. The Jellicles amazing performance will leave the audience in awe and make for an entertaining affair.


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