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The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

Mental health awareness should be prioritized in all schools
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Big Fish and even bigger talent

ONE SMALL STEP FOR A GIANT: Zach Kohlmyer performing as Karl the giant wows the towns folk and the audience as well. The townsfolk forgo their previous judgments and accept Karl for what he is, tall and all. “I really liked being Karl the giant,” Kohlmyer said. “It was fun walking on the stilts and getting to learn a new skill. I also just really liked the character of Karl the giant.” (Alex Edwards)

The house lights dim and the stage comes alive in color, gradually, murmurs among the audience are replaced with the sound of the live orchestra. Curtain up, it’s show-time! On Jan. 19, Bowie’s Starlight Theater opened with their first performance of this year’s program-wide musical, Big Fish.

“It was definitely at the top of our shortlist of musicals that we were considering. It just has a lot of heart, it’s just a great story,” head director and Bowie theater teacher Marco Bazan said. “People love it and we love it and we love working on it.”

Big Fish is a fantasy-esc dramedy that explores the relationship between a big shot from a small town, Edward, and his city-settled son, Will. As Edward nears the end of his life and Will anticipates the beginning of his own son’s life, Will is determined to find the truth to the crazy, wacky stories about his father’s life that he has told Will since he was a child.

who knew dad had a secret house: Will Bloom played by Dylan Shahid-Russell discovers his father has a split mortgage on a house out of town, and is determined to find out what his father is hiding. He never believed in his fathers wild stories, but this house was proof of a real mystery surrounding his dad. “I approached my character Will Bloom with the understanding that he has a lot of questions,” Shahid-Russell said. “My character is very uncertain, very direct, and kind of broken.” (Liberty Pittman)

“The show just gives me butterflies,” sophomore Big Fish lead Graciela Grahmann said. “Seeing this relationship with the father and son and all these different characters, it’s just so cool to see.”

This year’s show held a special place in many people’s hearts, whether on stage, behind the scenes, or in the audience. 

“I always tried to pick plays that are going to mean something to people,” Bazan said. “My director in high school would always say ‘you always do the show for the person in the back who’s sitting there who needs to hear this story.’” 

This year’s musical had significant on-stage student contributions, with a cast consisting of two sets of leads and several various ensembles, including a dance ensemble that performed several  numbers choreographed by student leaders Madigan Pound, Gibson Gelfer, Alice Jeffries, and Genivieve Downing. 

 “It was really fun, but it also came with a lot of challenges,”  junior Gelfer said. “It’s as hard as any other leadership role; getting people to focus, taking action, being assertive, but also the creative aspect of it.”

THE RINGMASTERS A WEREWOLF: Edward Bloom played by Finnigan Alexander discovered the wolfish nature of the circus head and confided in him about the potential love of his life. The ringmaster gives Edward crucial information allowing him to set out on an adventure to find the woman of his dreams. “You don’t know what’s gonna go wrong, but that’s part of the fun of it, getting to express all of the fun that you’ve had and all of the work that you’ve put in,” Alexander said. (Adriana Choueiry)

Bowie STC students also had several back stage contributions in costumes, hair and make-up, and set design, as well as the highly anticipated return of a full student orchestra and choral backing vocals.

“It’s the fact that people from outside our department join us, whether it’s a dancer, a cheerleader, or a musician,” Bazan said. “Especially now having the live orchestra back on our team, it’s really lovely to bond with all these people that you maybe don’t always see.”

The musical is the STC’s biggest production in terms of participation, bringing people from all aspects of the theater department into one project. 

“It’s the only time during the school year that we’re all working on one project,” Bazan said. “So, I think that my favorite part is that we’re all unified.” 

Working collaboratively in rehearsals for the several weeks leading up to the first performance is what makes it worth it for many students, including senior Finnigan Alexander, who played Edward bloom alongside Griffan Yancy. 

“My favorite part about musical season is the performing live,” Alexander said. “Performing itself has got to be my favorite bit just because you get to get up there on that stage and show everything you’ve been working toward for so long. It’s so rewarding.”

SINGING IN SHOCK AND AW: The Alabama Lambs dazzled the audience with their personality filled song and dance routine. However they didn’t just catch the audience’s attention as the lead singer Sandra Templeton played by Amelia Cook also caught the eye of young romantic Edward Bloom played by Finnegan Alexander. “At first Sandra starts out just trying to have fun with her friends, and then suddenly she meets her love interest,” Cook said. “I am a very emotional actor in the sense that I put myself in the perspective of my character, so trying to work through what my character would be feeling throughout the song while trying to sing was a challenge.” (Adriana Choueiry)
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    sophie estrelloMar 1, 2024 at 3:57 pm

    Wow so great I love Adelaide Mosel’s performance as the woman singing Mississippi!

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