EMHS bulldogs break Broadway


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As the iTheatrics summer workshops begin to start, the cast of “School of Rock” prepares for their turn to perform.

Adeline Gruen, Co-Editor-in-Chief

This summer, four Edmond Memorial High School students participated in workshops put on by iTheatrics in New York City. Senior Mia Lashley was part of the “School of Rock Jr.” production and performed as Rosalie Mullins, Senior Ella Latham was in “Dot and the Kangaroo Jr.” and performed as part of the ensemble and Sophomore Paige Medley played Kookaburra, and Senior Carter Haney was an intern at iTheatrics for five weeks helping out at each workshop. Each week was devoted to transitioning different musicals into Jr. productions.

Last semester, Latham, Haney, Medley and Lashley all performed at the  Junior Theater Festival (JTF) in Sacramento, Calif., which is put on by iTheatrics, with their performing arts group, Finale. The group performed an excerpt from “The Children of Eden Jr.” and many of the students in the cast won awards for the performance. After being awarded the Freddie G. award for Outstanding Student Direction and Choreography, Haney was invited by directors asking him to intern with iTheatrics this summer.

“I was the music director of that show [The Children of Eden Jr.] and then at the festival I was approached by the people running it and they were like ‘hey we have an opportunity for you we’d love to talk about’ and they offered me the position right there in Sacramento,” Haney said.

Other students wishing to perform in the iTheatrics workshops had to audition by sending in a one minute clip of any theater music song and filling out some forms as well as a resume. However, Latham, who was an All-Star in the JTF production, had an easier route to joining.

“I was a part of Finale. I was one of the performers in the group and at JTF I was chosen to be an All-Star for our group. They pick two All-Stars for each group and if you’re an All-Star at JTF you don’t have to [audition]. I just emailed and got accepted,” Latham said.

The workshops lasted five days with the first one being devoted to casting the production. After that, they blocked scenes and practiced until all of them were clean. The last day they performed twice, the second performance being for people who wanted to license the show.

“The day of the show, in the morning, we actually made a bunch of changes and then we had two performances and after our first performance, we changed even more,” Lashley said.

Haney interned for five weeks, working behind the scenes. He handled the master copy of the script and helped with the music. This isn’t his first time working with iTheatrics though, he’s been to many of their events throughout the years.

“I’d been working with them before as a performer, but this summer while I was there my main job was that I kept a master copy of all the changes we were making and the formatting of the script,” Haney said. “I was also transcribing the music that we were changing while we were there.”

Workshops, like the ones iTheatrics put on, can help students gain real world experience before they go into the world of theater.

“I think it was really cool to work with all these industry professionals,” Latham said. “I can take their advice from what I learned this summer and apply it to my artistry and everything moving forward.”

These events can also help students gain different rehearsal techniques that they can then go back home and apply.

“I feel like it will make me more focused when I’m rehearsing in the future because we had to be so on top of it all the time because they would move so fast and we wouldn’t have a lot of time to go back and review,” Lashley said.

For Medley, theater has helped her learn more about herself and grow.

“I think it definitely helps a lot with confidence and leadership skills because growing up in an environment where everyone is super accepting and inviting and you have the freedom to be yourself makes it a whole lot easier to be confident and to take control of situations,” Medley said.

iTheatrics puts on workshops like these to stage productions while also giving teenagers experience in the theater industry. Usually, when they hire interns to help them out, they focus on college-aged students, making Haney the first high school student to hold the position. After high school Haney wants to work in the music industry so being able to put this internship into his applications for college is a big deal.

“Right now as I’m writing all of my college applications it’s very cool for me to write ‘yes this last summer before my senior year I was in New York City for five weeks on a paid internship,’” Haney said. 

The iTheatrics workshop was a great opportunity for these students and will help them in their future careers.

Contact Adeline Gruen at [email protected]