Behind the curtains

Drama depends on work done behind the curtains

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Behind the curtains

Alyssa kusluch and Jamie Kness, Journalists

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The plays and musicals that Burlington-Edison High School drama department put on for the community  are amazing, but most people who are not involved in the drama department do not know the hours of hard work that students and staff members put in to presenting a wonderful show for the B-E community.

At the beginning of the usual process, drama teacher and director Ms. Holly Wood described her way of finding the right play/musical as a long process.


“I just go through hours of songs and scripts to figure which one will work well with our kids,” Wood said.


This year she said she wanted to have a more sitcom-like play to entertain the audience this year. In the past, she had always picked two shows that would offer different genres and  roles for students to fill.


“I pick the shows that will involve the most kids to give them an opportunity to do their thing,” Wood said.


Sometimes there are specific reasons why a play or musical is picked. Last year, the musical In the Heights was picked to include people from different cultures to reflect B-E’s different ethnicities.


“This year it was different for the first time then it was any other year.” Wood said.   


After the interview with Mrs. Wood, the curiosity of how much work the students put into performing grew. How long does it take them to memorize their lines? Is there a difference between preparing for plays or musicals?


Seeking for answers, an interview with a senior, Ashtyn Gudgel, ‘18,  shed light on all the hard work students go through. Ashtyn Gudgel had many years of experience before high school. At 12 years old she had done community theater and dance from the age of five. She has been in four shows outside of high school, and inside high school she has been in five going on six. After sharing her experiences, she explained the differences between preparing for plays and musicals are, plays are more focused on energy and dialogue. Musicals are focused on vocal warm ups, and physical warm ups. She brought how tedious Les Miserables was because of how it was sung all the way through.

Two juniors who have been in multiple plays and/or musicals at our school told us about their experiences and how they get ready for performances. The students who participate in the drama program have to show a lot of dedication for the program, they practice for their performance for 3-4 months along with the performances. Brianna Covert, has participated in one play and one musical so far. Audrey Rawls has participated in two plays, one musical and did tech for one. Rawls stated “The drama department is a great group of people they are all funny, caring and fun to be on stage with.” Covert stated that “I enjoy the art and the big family that comes with the play.”


The production of a musical or play in our B-EHS drama department requires a lot of time and practice from everyone involved. Students spend countless hours learning lines, creating the set, or adapting to being in the drama department. All show traits of hard work and perseverance that make the plays and musicals such a delight to attend.