“In The Heights” Look Back

Ashtyn Gudgel ‘18, A&E Editor

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After seven performances and two weekends of shows, this year’s musical In the Heights has come to a close.

The cast numbered to 49, consisting of 12 freshmen, 15 sophomores, 7 juniors and 15 seniors. Some of the cast looks back on favorite memories from the time rehearsals began in January, to the show’s close in March.

Shannon Allen, Freshman

Ensemble

“There are so many memories we made during In the Heights and it’s hard to say just one. But most of all I remember how kind and loving everyone was to all the new people to the drama department. It was just such a good feeling walking in the first day of practice and feeling so at home and welcomed by everyone in the cast.”

Chloe Brady, Freshman

Ensemble

“One of my favorite memories was having backstage dance parties before we went on for the opening number! We would spin and bounce and it was just super cool! It got us really hyped up and each day there were new dance moves for us to enjoy, I always looked forward to it.”

Moses Contreras, Senior

Ensemble

“I loved coming to the show everyday knowing that I’m surrounded by lots of people who mean so much to me and I’ve gotten the pleasure of getting to meet every single one of them.”

Lily Edwards, Freshman

Ensemble

“My favorite memory I have from In the Heights is this one scene when all the main characters are in front of the curtain and the whole set it blocked off from the audience, so naturally, everyone in the ensemble and dancers took the opportunity to have a mini but explosive dance party while trying to be as quiet as possible. And of course spending time with all my favorite people and becoming family with all of them. It’s really special!”

Sophia Felix, Freshman

Ensemble

“One memory I have is while doing the opening scene, I would do the same walk across to get to Jennifer Ramirez, Chloe Brady, and Sarah Crosby. Sarah played a homeless lady in this scene and goes around with a cup for change. She always asked me for spare change and normally I just pass on giving her any, but I had a fake apple one day, so I put it in the cup and the look of pure confusion on her face was so funny! I couldn’t keep a straight face so I made my exit a bit early and lost it backstage!”

Kayleen Garcia, Sophomore

Featured Dancer

“I have so many great memories from In the Heights! One of them was during the club scene when all the guys and girls were fighting and I turned around when all of a sudden I felt someone punch me in the mouth. All of the fighting had to be pretend but Jose Menchaca was so into the scene that he had actually punched me by accident. This wasn’t the first time he had hurt me, in one of the previous shows during the same scene he pushed me by accident when he got punched and made me fall backwards onto the floor. Immediately, Dmitri Wagoner picked me up and saved me from being stepped on by everyone else. I really enjoyed the whole show!”

Yadira Gonzalez, Sophomore

Dancer

“This show changed my life. I fell in love with the musical and at the end of the day I would be so excited to go to practice and meet the people I love and have a great time. During the show I got meet a lot of new people that I’m very grateful to have met and have gotten to know them. I love the whole cast, they so welcoming and kind! My favorite memory was when it was Saturday and we had two shows that day. After we were done with the first show we had two hours till the next one and I brought a speaker and we just started dancing, singing, and having a great time! It was so much fun, and I was so happy that I did the show and was surrounded by all these wonderful people. I can’t wait till next year to do it again!”

Megan Grenier, Freshman

Dancer

“I really loved everything our cast did together, we laughed so much and it was like we were one big family. One memory I’ll never forget is we were in the middle of the song Carnaval Del Barrio and Ammon Palmer was standing right next to me while I was swinging my towel up in the air and I smacked him right in the face with it! I felt so bad and when we went off stage and we busted out laughing and hugging each other while I said sorry a thousand times to him.”

Savannah Lee, Freshman

Ensemble, Bolero Voice at certain performances, Nina Understudy

“One good memory from being in In The Heights (although there are many), was after one of the Saturday matinee shows. I stayed at the school in the choir room waiting for the next show to start, and a few of us ended up walking over to get donuts and ice cream from Lafeen’s. Then when we came back we had a very random dance party, which soon turned into a karaoke party. I’ll never forget that.”

Marcelino Mendez, Sophomore

Dancer

“One of my favorite memories was when we all came together as a cast to hype each other up before every single show. Before we went out, we all got together and cheered and got the energy up to have a good performance.”

Aydan Miner, Senior

Featured Dancer

“My favorite part of being involved in In The Heights was all of us bonding over how exhausted we were after each rehearsal and performance. We enjoyed it together, and survived it together.”

Claire Pickering, Sophomore

Ensemble

“I loved getting to know lots of different people that I had never seen before and all working together on making a beautiful show.”

Emily Powers, Freshman

Ensemble

“I will always remember standing in the stage right wing during shows, you can see pretty much the whole stage from there and no one in the audience can see you so it was just really fun to be able to stand there and watch everyone in scenes that I wasn’t in. There were so many talented people in In The Heights and it was really fun to be able to see them perform during the shows from backstage. Also, I think I will just always remember all of the great people that were in this show, it’s so fun to be super close and do something you love with a great group of people.”

Jennifer Ramirez, Freshman

Ensemble

“In the Heights was an amazing experience, from the show itself to the people in it. The community is one that I’m proud to be a part of, has shaped me as a person and made my freshman year amazing. My favorite memory of all the incredible memories that we made was on opening night. I got there early and Dmitri, Ammon, and a few more of us were already there. We were all really nervous and jittery, and I didn’t know what to expect since this was my first show. Suddenly, Ammon shouted “We’re taking a walk! Everyone has to join!” So we did. We took a walk in the rain, circling the school. We pointed at the In The Heights sign outside of the school, and sung music from the show and Les Mis. It calmed everyone down, but also got everyone pumped for the show.”

Emily Rentz, Sophomore

Dancer

“I loved spending time with this cast, it gave me really good opportunity to make some new friends and just doing what I really love to do….acting and dancing. I now know how it feels to perform in front of a crowd of people that I don’t know and it was a fun experience doing it. This is my first year doing drama and I have to say it truly changed my life forever.”

Joliannys Rodriguez, Sophomore

Dancer

“My favorite memory from ‘In the Heights’ is when me and some of the cast members went to Lafeen’s after our manatee performance and had a little karaoke session on our way back from there. But my absolute favorite memory out of the whole show was just getting to hang out with all of the cast members and just mess around and have fun!”

Alexis Kruger, Junior

Carla

“This year’s production of In the Heights was so much fun! I had a great time hanging out with all of the new theatre kids and learning about the Latino culture in our community. Our cast had so much fun together! No matter where we were, you could see us working on choreography our rapping our favorite song on the soundtrack…(there would dance competitions along with them as well). All in all it was a great experience that allowed us to learn more about our community and meet people who wouldn’t normally have come to the production. It was so much fun and I would highly recommend drama to anyone who just loves to hang out and have a great time.”   

Daniel Foulds, Sophomore

Graffiti Pete, Benny Understudy

In the Heights was my first production. It was also the first time I felt like I was truly apart of something where I was not only accepted, but loved. Everyone in the cast and on the creative team helped me see who I really am. I would not be the same person if it wasn’t for all of the amazing people that were apart of In the Heights. Being able to sing, dance, and act as Graffiti Pete was so amazing for me because I loved how perfectly I felt the role was fitted for me. I felt I could add some of my personality into the personality of my character.”

Gwenna Gram, Senior

Daniela

“I feel so honored to have participated in this musical. The last line we sang was “We’re home” and I think that perfectly describes my feelings toward my last production. No matter what we all choose to do after high school, the BEHS Drama Department is where the passion all began. The freshmen that have entered this program this year are so determined and motivated and talented and it is bittersweet to know our theater department will thrive without me. Mostly, I will miss the deep talks and laughs and cries I’ve shared with the cast. I love you all so much and feel so thankful to see how drama has changed your lives forever. Theater is special and worth it. Keep it up, mi familia.”

Amy Palmer, Junior

Abuela Claudia

“I really enjoyed my time as Abuela and I learned a lot about the culture and I feel like I gained more understanding by looking with an older perspective. I think my favorite parts were the backstage dancing and singing and just the family atmosphere.”

Carlos Roques, Freshman

Sonny

“My fondest memory was during the finale of the final show. Mia and I always do a little dance during a part in the song where Usnavi decides to stay home. Every now and then a few people would join us, but the final night I ran off stage after my scene for the dance and there were at least 10 people doing the dance all synchronized! It was seriously the coolest thing ever and made me feel so connected with the cast.”

Sierra Jones, Senior

Vanessa

“One of my favorite memories was our last rehearsal. We stayed late and danced around the stage and laughed and reminisced on our time here. I loved dancing backstage with Emily Powers, Jennifer Ramirez, and Chloe Brady during the opening number. I loved all of the meaningful and thought provoking conversations I would have with each member of the cast. I loved how everyone would just let it all go and be themselves with each other. I loved going to state and spending all my time with Gwenna Gram, going to see the WIPS and eating at Utopia. I loved being Vanessa and all the support and growth that came with embodying that character. I loved the relationships that came out of In the Heights. We truly developed as a family and I am forever grateful.”

Ammon Palmer, Senior

Benny

My favorite memory from In the Heights was when Daniel Foulds had advertised for our drama shirts in the middle of the show on closing night and everybody knew but the salon girls and they were caught off guard. Also, when Andrew Martinez bottle flipped on top of another bottle eight feet into the air. That was pretty cool.”

Samantha Helgeson, Senior

Nina Rosario at certain performances

In the Heights was such an interesting experience. It all happened so fast: being asked to fill in as Nina, practicing for 2 weeks, and doing 5 shows, all while participating in my last year of varsity softball. My last show was a beautiful, chaotic mess, and I still cannot believe that it happened in such a condensed amount of time. I met so many new people in it, all of which I love largely, and I can’t wait to grow friendships with each of them.”

Dmitri Wagoner, Senior

Usnavi De La Vega at certain performances

“The process of creating this incredible show focused on community, home, love, and faith expanded the hearts of many and allowed our community to see it’s true colors in a beautiful story that God was desperate to have told in spite of our current bitter atmosphere.”

 

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“In The Heights” Look Back