WILLARD — Willard High School freshman Katie Holthouse took advantage of watching fellow cast members rehearse their scenes in “South Pacific.” She smiled pleasantly as she sat in the front row, waiting for her scene.
“It’s a lot of fun to sit and watch because you know how hard they worked. It’s fun to see it all come together,” Katie said.
Making the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical come to life this past weekend started in January with three rehearsals each week.
“You could always do more, but the kids are busy,” said director Cindy Light, who has been directing two musicals each of the last 10 school years.
For the last two weeks of practices, the cast members began rehearsing without their scripts. Pianist Dennis Stonehm came to every rehearsal so the actors were able to practice with musical cues from the beginning.
Another pianist and a drummer joined Stonehm for the performances Friday and Saturday.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature had a big say in Willard’s rehearsal schedule. There were six school closings.
“We missed out on two rehearsals, actually,” Light said, because school was closed on several days when practices weren’t scheduled.
Despite falling behind with the rehearsal schedule, the cast kept plugging away. “I know they’re going to buckle down and come through,” Light said at the time.
Light faces two big challenges when coordinating and overseeing rehearsals. The first is working around the students’ schedules.
“We have yet to have our entire cast,” Light said — exactly one day before the dress rehearsal in front of a small audience.