The Road To Opening Night: Step Two, Practice Makes Perfect

Emmaus High School Junior Chrissy Cilento gives a behind the scenes look at the process of pulling together the EHS spring musical. It takes dozens of rehearsals and hundreds of hours to pull the show together.

Special to Emmaus Patch By Chrissy Cilento, Emmaus High School Junior

Ever since I was 2 years old, decked out in plastic heels and a boa, I’ve loved to perform. Almost every home video my family has includes me making a sorry attempt at a pirouette or singing a show-stopping rendition of “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” Playing in a fantasy world has always intrigued me, and I’ve nurtured my love for performance by participating in all the shows at .

Many people don’t understand the amount of work that goes into our shows. We have rehearsals every day from 3-6 p.m., including additional rehearsals on certain Saturdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. This schedule is grueling at the least, but the edge is taken off by the fact that I get to spend hours every day doing what I love with all of my friends on stage with me. 

Having been involved in our productions for three years, I’ve more than adjusted to the way the shows work. Naturally, there are always complications, and this year is no exception. For instance, this year we took a proactive route and choreographed the entire show the first week of rehearsal. While this was meant to be a huge help to the cast, it ended up being somewhat anti-productive as all of our numbers were choreographed to what turned out to be the wrong music. Those were the dark days of Guys and Dolls, if you will. However after some simple adjusting of the choreography, the whole incident (which seemed like the end of the world to us at the time) was water under the bridge. 

Finally, after dozens of rehearsals and almost 200 hours spent on our show, the end product is at last in sight. Looking back on the process, I have no complaints. Guys and Dolls has been a great experience for me, especially because it exposed me to new aspects of theater which I hadn’t worked with previously, such as wearing a wig, using a cigarette, and dancing in new styles. I would say that the most beneficial thing about being in Guys and Dolls is that it taught me to be open-minded. When the show first started, I was a little bit apprehensive about the way our costumes would look, how the choreography would turn out, etc. After weeks of worrying, I finally learned to just trust that things would turn out okay. Luckily for me, they have. 

Guys and Dolls will run April 11-14 at 7 p.m. and April 14 at 2 p.m.  Tickets are available in the main office or can be reserved online at www.eastpennsd.org/ehs. Prices are $10 for students/senior citizens and $12 for adults. Gold Card holders must present their Gold Card in the main office in person in order to receive a complimentary ticket for the matinee.

Chrissy Cilento, a junior at Emmaus High School, plans to study journalism in college. She is a periodic contributor to Patch.


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