It takes a lot of work to put on a musical, so how did the students in Wildcat Theatre manage to perfect its “Back to the 80s” performance? According to play director Darren Fleischhacker, by giving up a lot of their free time.
“Their work ethic and time management skills were phenomenal,” said Fleischhacker, who noted that toward the end, the students who played main characters were giving up their Saturdays and lunch hours to rehearse.
Their first rehearsal was Sept. 25, and by mid-October they were meeting up to three times a week for practice. In the two weeks before the show opening, they were working on different aspects of the show (such as the acting, music, or tech) every day.
Because the play involves 1980s’ jokes and none of the students were born until the 90s, Fleischhacker admits that some jokes had to be explained (such as the Bill Gates and Prince references), and there were jokes they didn’t know were funny until they witnessed the audience’s reaction.
“I was able to warn everyone ahead of time that the audience will be laughing at unexpected moments, and they were to be ready to play out the laughs,” Fleischhacker said.
He added they were able to keep up with his “ambitious” rehearsal schedule, which is rare for such performances.
“I’m biased, but the kids this year did fantastic. They were all awesome to work with and I was so appreciative of their commitment to the show.”
— Robin Tarnowetzki