It’s??time to meet our final cast member, Cassidy Van Cleve!
Role: Peaches??(one of the Sharpettes)?????????????????????????? Age: 16
How do you prepare for an audition?
For an audition at NFT, I prepare a whole song, but choose 16 measures to sing. You want to pick the song that best suits your voice and one that also shows character. I’m always prepared with a back-up song just in case the directors have heard my choice that day. Also, I memorize a 1-minute monologue if they want to see you perform. Usually I like to watch the movie or read-up on the show I’m preparing for.
What’s your favorite thing about your character?
In HSM2 I play one of the Sharpettes named Peaches. My favorite thing is that it’s a character I have never played before. I’ve never been a preppy cheerleader-type person in a show and I’m excited to see that character develop.
How do you memorize your lines?
I start with only a??few lines at a time: about a paragraph or so. I read through the section in my head first and then read it out loud a few times. Once I start to feel annoyed with myself for repeating the same lines over and over again, I test myself to see if I can go from memory. After I learned the lines, I’ll add emotion and character mannerisms into the reading.
If you have any questions for Cassidy about her experiences or just have a comment about what you read, please leave her a message!
It’s time to meet our second cast member, Allison Grischow! Allison is the older sister of Becca, our other blogger.
Role: Kelsi Nielson???????????????????????????????????????? Age: 16
When did you start acting?
I truly started in the sixth grade. Before that, as my sister Becca mentioned, we would perform little shows in our basement. In the sixth grade our school put on the show “Looking Glass Land” and I played the White Queen. She was such an eccentric character and I loved playing her.
What is the hardest part of doing a show?
Honestly I think the hardest part of it all is the last show when you have to say goodbye to everyone. A lot of us do not go to the same schools and whenever you are in a show with people you develop really strong bonds. It’s hard knowing you won’t see all these people a few times a week anymore, because a lot of times it feels like everyone is family.
??How do you memorize your lines?
I memorize my lines by putting them to a tune and singing them, or I will take a sheet of paper and cover my lines up and say them after I read the other lines (cue lines). I used to always practice my lines with my family but after a while they get kind of tired hearing the same thing! Once I know the lines pretty well I will say them all in??a row really fast to make sure I have them down!
??If you have any questions for Allison about her experiences or just have a comment about what you read, please leave her a message!
Three cast members of HSM2 have offered to give some insight about what goes on behind the scenes of putting on the show, from auditions to the final dress. Keep looking for postings because they will be updated as the rehearsals keep going!
First, we will meet our first cast member, Becca Grischow.
Role: Summer (one of the Sharpettes)?????????????????????????? Age: 13
When did you start acting?
My first real show was when I was in sixth grade, I think. When I was little, my sister and I would make our friends dress up and put on performances in our basement. They were awful, but we had so much fun.
What’s your favorite thing about being an actor?
As much as I adore being on stage and live for the applause at the end of every number, my favorite part of being an actor has to be the people I meet. Theatre kids are some of the greatest people I’ve ever met because they’re loud and crazy but very compassionate. I love coming into a new show and making new friends as well as seeing my friends from previous shows that go to other schools. I’ve made some of my best friends through theatre.
What made you want to be an actor?
My sister Allison was doing local theatre when she was going into middle school so I wanted to do it too. Now we do shows together all the time and we help each other. She’s my sister, but she’s also one of my best friends!
??If you have any questions for Becca about her experiences or just have a comment about what you read, please leave her a message!
We were able to??speak with the actors who play Gabriella and Troy in HSM2 and??get to know them??a little better.??They are giving a little sneak preview about what to expect with their characters.
Bianca Minniti who plays Gabriella is reprising her role after playing her 3 years ago with Noble Fool’s Youth Ensemble production of High School Musical.
Tyler Vaughn is also no stranger to NFTYE. After playing Ren in Footloose, Jesus in Godspell, and Zeke in High School Musical, he’s ready to take on Troy.
How do you feel about playing the lead roles?
Bianca- I have grown a lot as a performer in the past two years since HSM. It may seem easy to play the same character again, but I feel like I should take risks and really challenge myself this time around.
Tyler- I’m so excited about having this role. Bianca and I have been friends since the first HSM and have often joked about being Troy and Gabriella. Now our little joke has turned into a reality and it’s almost like a dream come true.
How do you connect to your character?
Tyler- I feel that I have a strong connection to Troy. Our lives are very similar. I played all kinds of sports as a kid. Nothing but football, basketball, and baseball all year round from kindergarten until high school when I decided to quit and focus on theatre. I have never made a better decision.
How has your character changed from HSM to HSM2?
Bianca- Gabriella has gained a lot of confidence and strength since HSM. Two and a half years ago I portrayed her as shy and very much within herself and her comfort zone. Now, we see her standing up for herself even when it hurts. At the surface she seems like a simple character, but underneath it all I see her dynamic and it’s my challenge to get the audience to see it as well.
How have you personally grown from past performances?
Bianca- I believe this is all about growth. I have grown as a performer and Gabriella has grown as a character. The audience will see how I have opened her up. There will be a significant difference from the first HSM to the second in my characterization of Gabriella.
Tyler- I have grown tremendously as not only an actor but as a person as well. Playing many different roles has challenged me as an actor. Going from Jesus to Lefou is not an easy task, but definitely is a fun one. And all of the people I have met along the way have changed me as a person and I will never be the same.
Hi Everyone! My name is Shellee Frazee and I am the director/choreographer for Noble Fool’s production of High School Musical 2. We are in our second week of rehearsals and I am very excited with the progress we??have already made. We have an outstanding cast and crew and they are working very hard to create a spectacular show. I thought I would share some behind the scenes information that might help you understand the process we go through to create a show.
Our wonderful music director, Ken Jones, has been teaching the cast the music for the entire show during the first few rehearsals. It is much easier to teach dances if the actors know their music and lyrics first. Ken helps them learn parts, rhythms, and teaches them technical aspects of singing. One of the most difficult aspects of a musical for actors is learning how to sing and dance at the same time, while controlling their breathing. We are encouraging the cast to sing while doing physical activities outside of rehearsal to help build up their stamina.
As rehearsals continue, we start to learn choreography for all of the music as well as blocking the scenes. With 47 cast members, it is important that everyone knows where they are supposed to be and how they are supposed to move at all times! One of my favorite parts of my job is teaching the actors a dance and watching as they evolve from the first stumbling of steps to a polished performance. It is amazing to see the idea go from my mind onto the stage. It is also incredibly rewarding to watch the satisfaction an actor finds when they learn a dance and to see the sense of accomplishment when they hear that applause.
There are so many people who work to make a production complete. Another great part of this job is having the opportunity to meet and create with a profesional and talented staff. Kimberly Morris is spending hours finding the perfect props and putting together all of the costumes necessary for the show. This is a major undertaking that is often taken for granted. Colleen Tovar has designed a set that allows space for all of our actors to move and perform. Our sound designer, Joseph Fosco and Lighting Designer, Joe Mohamed, are already putting things in place and preparing for performances. Our stage manager, Natalie Bayard, helps keep the cast and crew on task. A stage manager must be great at multi-tasking and good with details. Education Manager, Tracy Whiteside, keeps an eye on things and is available for any unforeseen emergencies that might arise. We also have a wonderful group of student interns who help the staff in a variety of ways as they learn what it is like to work behind the scenes. There are many others on staff at Noble Fool who work in production and marketing. They are just as important as those I named, but often do their work quietly and efficiently without being seen or heard. Every single member of the cast and crew make an impact on a production, and with these exceptionally talented people I know this production will shine.
I feel very lucky to be both a director and choreographer and I love when I am able to do both jobs for a production. Serving in both positions allows me a great deal of creative freedom and control. I have been doing theatre since high school, and I have always loved performing. I still thrill at the rush I feel on stage, but I find a huge amount of satisfaction in directing and choreographing. I admit that musicals have a special place in my heart. I am a dancer, first and foremost, and always will be. I feel so blessed and fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living!
Watching this cast of talented young people work and grow makes me smile. They are a testimony to the dazzling future of theatre. We hope you will join us at a performance and see the magic they are creating. Come share in our fun!