Kimberton Waldorf School alumni enrich the world around them. We are proud to shine a spotlight on some of our alumni to showcase their stories, career development, interests, accomplishments, and milestones.
This month's featured alumni spotlight is James Corkum ’04.
As opening night for the High School Musical quickly approaches, we would like to take time to recognize the time and hard work that James has dedicated to this year’s musical. An engaged and active student during his years at Kimberton Waldorf School, James was very involved in our musical programs. His passion for the theater continued after graduation, and we are thrilled to have him return as our beloved director for Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Below, James shares his experience of directing this year’s musical.
Putting on a Musical
by James Corkum ‘04
The process of putting on a musical is a long one. It begins in the spring when scripts are read until the right one is found. This year, Thoroughly Modern Millie will come to life on stage at Kimberton Waldorf School.
Fast forward to the fall, when students receive audition material and eventually go through the sometimes-intimidating process of auditioning for a show. Those who are interested in being on stage will audition and are cast. For this year’s musical, we have over 30 students in the cast, and many more involved with the orchestra, lights, sound, and more.
Although the show is cast, rehearsals have to wait until January because December is a busy month at the school. This means the musical has a mere two months to come together. In order for this to happen, those in the cast memorize all of their lines during winter break.
Rehearsals then take place three days a week. The weekend offers longer rehearsals, usually focusing on dance and group songs. Wednesday and Friday rehearsals tend to focus on scene work and smaller groups, where the students are asked to analyze the script, interpret what every line means, and decide what actions arise out of their wants. The orchestra also holds rehearsals, learns the musical score, and learns how to synchronize the music with the storyline.
At the same time, there is much more going on behind the scenes to bring a musical to the Kimberton stage. Costumes are tried on, altered, and sewn. Props are found and collected. Sets are designed and eventually built. Backdrops are sketched and then painted. Advertisements and sponsorships for the musical and program are collected to fund the production.
The parents in the community take many of these tasks on. Just like the students, parents volunteer their time to help make the musical an incredible experience for the cast and the audience. In addition to the parents, students are involved with some of the ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of the musical.
This year we have students helping with costumes, designing and painting the backdrop, set building, lights, sound, makeup, hair, collecting ads, and more. The cast and their enthusiasm is what drives the musical and motivates others in the community to contribute in their areas of expertise and interest.
It's not long until Thoroughly Modern Millie will come to the Kimberton Waldorf School stage. This show has a tremendous buzz around the school already. The music is fun, the story is humorous, and the cast and crew are excited. It takes a lot to put on a musical; luckily there is a wonderful group up for the challenge again this year.
Come to one or more of the four shows on February 27, 28 and March 1 and share in the exciting final phase of putting on a musical. Enjoy the show!