Lights, Camera, Musical!


Kathryn H., Journalism 1 student

Words, music, and movement. The main components of a highly popular nationwide enjoyment that aims to tell a story and showcase talents: musicals.

But how does one prepare to perform? This semester at PLHS, the theater department begins work on this year’s musical: SpongeBob SquarePants, and each participant is working hard to be sure the performance goes smoothly. 

Molly Grasso is the director of the musicals and has worked at PLHS for around 20 years, perfecting the musical making process.

“We have different components, there’s blocking. There’s music, there’s choreography,” Grasso said. “And blocking is like the acting that we do, music is they’re learning music, choreography is the dance. And then we put the whole thing together.”

The lead of this year’s show, junior James Rasser, loves the musical environment.

“You know, it brings the entire community together Fine Arts wise,” Rasser said. “You get to meet everyone, you get to have fun with everyone.”

Despite COVID, the theater department pushes through, finding new and creative ways to practice and have fun without breaking COVID guidelines.

“[Masks are] not a huge problem, it only really affects our facial expression,” Rasser said. “We want to be able to show the audience our smiles or our scared or sad or angry faces and it can be hard with a mask.”

Each year the musical is new and unique, something Grasso prides herself on.

“Taking risks on different people, trying new things. I’ve always done that,” Grasso said. “I’ll always try a new musical, like, I don’t always do what everyone else has done.”

Grasso holds the auditions for the musical in the winter of every year, along with vocal music teacher Tyler Buglewicz. 

“If you want to do [the musical], you should go out for it, you should take a chance and do it. Because really it’s a creative outlet,” Grasso said. “And it’s something that the music, theater, and band all put on together. You don’t often get that in all schools.”

No matter what happens, the theater department supports one another. It’s a safe space for many students, including Rasser. 

“It’s just a safe community to be around, you know, you can be yourself there,” Rasser said. “And so it’s a lot of fun to be able to go to a place where you feel accepted, but also just know that you can be you.”

Whether it’s SpongeBob, Chicago, or any other musical, the theater department will work its hardest to create stunning shows for the public to enjoy.