Freaky Friday Comes to the Stage

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Freaky Friday Comes to the Stage

Sophie Stapleton, Henry Trochlil, and Jack Powell rehearse for the show (Photo by Riley Draddy)

Sophie Stapleton, Henry Trochlil, and Jack Powell rehearse for the show (Photo by Riley Draddy)

Sophie Stapleton, Henry Trochlil, and Jack Powell rehearse for the show (Photo by Riley Draddy)

Sophie Stapleton, Henry Trochlil, and Jack Powell rehearse for the show (Photo by Riley Draddy)

Katherine Curtis, Staff Reporter

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Many of today’s high schoolers grew up with the movie “Freaky Friday” starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis. This past summer, Disney channel aired the musical version of the nostalgic movie. This year, Loudoun Valley’s drama department took on the challenge of bringing this movie to the stage.

For the past three months, over 50 students have collaborated to put together the spring musical: Freaky Friday. Between the long hours of rehearsal and the many technical teams that have worked to bring the show to life, the musical hits the stage this Friday, March 29th.

“It all starts with the auditions and cast list. Once that was posted, we were ready to go,” junior Genevieve Howley said. “We began working out some choreography and vocals, and later adding in the blocking. Then we slowly begin to add in props, lights, sounds, costumes, set and other tech elements.”

Although that may sound like a simple process, there were many obstacles in bringing the show together, including the weather.

“[The most challenging part was] probably snow days,” senior Sophie Stapleton said. “It is difficult because rehearsals get cancelled and we can’t do our job, so it makes it harder to prepare.”

Stapleton plays Katherine Blake, one of the two main characters. In the show, Katherine and her daughter Ellie get into an argument and end up switching bodies. So, the actors had to learn how to play both characters.

“I am playing two characters in the same body,” sophomore Claire Trochlil, who plays Ellie, said. “Differentiating between Katherine and Ellie is a huge role to take on, but it was fun.”

In spite of the fact that this has been a challenge for both Trochill and Stapleton, they are definitely happy that they got the opportunity to experience it.

“Working alongside Sophie, who plays Katherine, and getting to develop both of these characters with her has been such a blast and a great learning experience for me,” Trochill said.

One very difficult aspect of acting is when actors do not have as much in common with their character. Sophomore Delany Herr, who plays a variety of characters including Grandma Helene, Mrs. Time, and an ensemble high school student, struggled with character development because of differences between her and her characters.

“I am not very similar to any of my characters, honestly,” Herr said. “Not even the high school student because the character I play is an athlete and a risk taker, neither of which I am, and the other characters are all adults, which I do not have much in common with,” Herr said.

Howley, on the other hand, was able to develop her character easier because she found similarities between herself and Torrey, the character she plays.

“In some ways, [my character’s] a big perfectionist and worries about the little things, which is definitely something I struggle with,” Howley said.

While Howley has been acting on stage since 9th grade, she had stage experience with dance for many years before she started acting. So along with acting, she also takes part in a more behind-the-scenes aspect of theater: choreography.

“Mr. Staggs was aware of my dancing background so he asked me to choreograph the show and I jumped at the idea,” Howley said. “I was really excited to share my love of dance with the other cast members.”

In theater, the actors the audience sees on stage are not the only people involved in bringing the show together. There are also the many hands of the behind-the-scenes technical crew.

“I love working on building the show but I have no theatrical talent, so I choose a role behind the scenes that would allow me to be as involved as possible,” junior Lorien Kelso said.

Kelso is the stage manager of Freaky Friday. In this position, she is in charge of making sure everything is organized and coordinated. She mostly helps with bringing the acting and technical aspects together

“I act as a record-keeper of sorts,” Kelso said.

Kelso along with each technical team, lighting, sounds, props, costumes, scenic design, and many others, have been working to bring the show together in every aspect possible.

“Right from the beginning we separated into the different technical elements,” senior Trevor Schoeny said. “But together we came up with the idea to make it a cartoonish theme, sort of like pop art, like Roy Linkedin Shen, if you know who that is”

After all the technical teams decided on the general theme they were going for with Freaky Friday, they broke off to figure out how they would work it in.

“With scenic design, we actually used Roy Linkedin Shen art work on these things called periactoids, which are three sided pillars,” Shoeny said.

Another interesting aspect of this show is that many of the actors also worked on the technical elements as well.

“Being on props and an actress has made the show easier because I have been on both perspectives behind the scenes and onstage, so I feel like I know this show inside and out,” junior Emma York said.

However, there were some difficult parts of being both on the stage and behind the scenes.

“Working on props and being in the show this time was a lot harder than usual,” Yorks said. “I am playing a larger role and have more responsibilities in props than usual, so it has been really challenging. But what I have found is that you just have to make the most of each day, especially the ones leading up to tech week,” York said.

After weeks of preparation, Freaky Friday will be on the stage this weekend, March 29-30, and next weekend, April 5-6. So grab your family and friends, and come see the show!

“We have magic! It is going to be kid-friendly, heartwarming, there is tons of fun music and lots of bright colors,” Stapleton said. “What more could you ask for?”