Clintonville students perform musical
By Erik Buchinger
After several weeks of rehearsal, students at Clintonville High School put on their live performances of “Hello, Dolly!” from Thursday, Nov. 3 until Sunday, Nov. 6.
Thursday night’s performance was a screening for friends and family, and director Leah Armstrong said she was impressed with their first performance in front of a live audience.
“I thought they handled it very well,” Armstrong said. “We like to do this show for the parents so they learn how to wait for pauses and laughter and respond to audience reactions.”
Armstrong the rehearsals had been strong coming into the shows from all participants including 25 students in the cast, 15 in the band and five students backstage.
“The last two week have been really good,” Armstrong said. “Since most of the sports have ended, we’ve had everyone here, which really helps speed things along. We’ve had some late nights, but there hasn’t been any complaining, which was great.”
Clintonville High School senior Maria Wood played the lead role as Dolly Levi, and she said the experience is much more exciting in front of an audience.
“It was really exciting,” Wood said. “It’s really different performing in front of a live audience as opposed to an empty theater because you get the energy from the crowd as well as the energy from backstage. It just makes it so much more exciting and fun.”
Wood’s mother was in attendance for Thursday night’s performance, and her brother Gerald was in the play as Barnaby Tucker. She said having her family there was a big help for her.
“It means a lot having them there, and it’s really nice because they support me in what I want to do and they support all the activities I’m involved in especially in this very busy season with how much work I put into this,” Wood said.
Armstrong said Wood’s attitude throughout the rehearsal and performances benefitted the entire production.
“Maria has been a trooper the entire time,” Armstrong said. “She’s always been prepared and ready to go. She is on the swim team and they have a lot of meets, and she really has to hustle, so she’s been great to work with and coach along the way.”
Wood said she had a great time in her first lead role.
“It’s really stressful but so much fun,” Wood said. “It’s a lot more work than I’m used to, but it’s so rewarding, and I’ve had so much fun being able to portray Dolly.”