An imaginative narrative comes to life: Musical Theater presents ‘Matilda Jr.’


Beth Eden

Musical Theater class presents “Matilda Jr.”. Cast members rehearse their number titled “Chokey Chant”.

Rylie Lockerman, Editor

Rebellion erupts at Crunchem Hall Primary School when a special little girl, Matilda, uses the magic of her imagination to stand up and revolt against the cruel headmistress. The cast take turns acting as feisty children and evil villains, taking the audience on an extraordinary journey, intensified through witty dialog and exuberant dance numbers.

Musical Theater presents the dramedy musical “Matilda Jr.” following a gifted child’s revolt against hardship. Directed by seniors Beth Eden and Haley Sekel, this production will premiere on May 6 at 3 p.m. and again, at 7 in the evening. 

“We really wanted to find a show where everyone would have an opportunity to have the most time on stage as possible,” Sekel said. “It’s a fun show with a lot of cool elements to figure out including tech things and magic tricks.”

Usually, productions are directed by Celeste Scheider, Jon Alonso, or Jeff Davis. However, in musical theater, few seniors are given the opportunity to lead and direct a musical. 

“[Choreographing] is a struggle because Beth and I are in charge of blocking, choreographing, music, figuring out tech stuff and everything else,” Sekel said. “It’s a lot to organize because right now we’re jumping around and doing a scene and then a number and then choreographing a song, so I don’t know how it’s all going to come together.”

Due to band occupying the auditorium in preparation for their own, separate performance, the cast has a limited schedule of time for rehearsal on stage before opening night.

“It’s a unique show in that we don’t meet outside of school,” Benedict said. “I think it’s better that way so we don’t have to stress about extra work after school because everything is done during class.”

In past years, the class has performed on the auditorium stage with the audience joining them onstage in order to have an up-close view. This year however, Eden and Sekel convinced the directors to allow the cast to take up the full stage and be provided with microphones so that they may have a bigger production space with everyone sitting in the audience.

“On off book day, there were obviously a few mishaps here and there, but everyone truly put in the work and had their lines down,” Eden said. “Even outside of class they got to know the show more and learn their lines.”

The tale of Matilda originated from Roald Dahl’s novel in 1988, and was eventually adapted into a musical production and 1996 film. Junior Sarah Benedict will play the role of Matilda.

“Usually, I play comedy roles, so this has been a nice break from that,” Benedict said. “It’s been nice to explore the serious side of theater. I enjoy playing [Matilda] because she is a great role model that the rest of the kids in the show can look up to and is someone who knows what she needs to do and how she’s going to do it.”

“Matilda Jr.” presents a unique opportunity for cast members to present a different style of music, unlike previous, traditional tracks.

“My main goal for opening night is for my solo, ‘This Little Girl’, to be polished and clean,” sophomore Isabel Riley, cast as Ms. Honey said. “A lot of the songs in this musical are pop or modern, which is really fun.”

The production pick of “Matilda Jr.” was announced by the directors before winter break. Cast members and students from advanced tech classes have been rehearsing for the past few months.

“Most rehearsals, we have fun and everyone puts work into the show,” Eden said. “It’s definitely a strain for time because we only rehearse during class so we’re really on top of it, so I’m very proud of them.”