“Something Rotten,” a comedy about Shakespeare, soon to entertain Loy Norrix


Credit: Kendall Sloan

Sophomore Braeden Davis stands up on a pedestal as apart of the performance. Cast members gather around as the scene continues.

Kendall Sloan, Instagram Team

The energy in J12 is warm and excited while cast members chat amongst themselves and slowly take their seats in their respective sections, organized by voice type, like alto or soprano. Drama teacher Dan Lafferty, gets the attention of the cast by issuings the statement, “and a hush fell over the crowd…,” silencing the room. 

Students have been working very hard in the auditorium and choir room with drama teacher and director Dan Lafferty on the upcoming musical, “Something Rotten,” scheduled to open on February 4. 

“Something Rotten,”  is a comedy that follows two brothers who work together in an attempt to surpass the success of Shakespeare. 

The cast is currently in the process of learning the music and rehearsing the lines and movement. 

Credit: Kendall Sloan Dan Lafferty stands in the drama room of J11 to double check the movements. Cast members patiently await instructions.

“There’s three different types of rehearsal,” said Lafferty. “We have musical rehearsals, where we learn to sing the songs. We have dance rehearsals, where we learn to do the dances and we have blocking rehearsals, where we learn where the actors move around on the stage while they say their lines.” 

Students will separate into  groups and rehearse, practice or learn the show. 

Cast members enter either the wide-open space of the band room to rehearse their singing and dancing parts, rehearse in the drama room or wait with their fellow cast members, a favorite part for some members. 

In the drama room, J11, desks have been pushed against the back wall for cast members to rehearse a group part. Lafferty interjects once in a while to provide instruction or a demonstration, but for the most part, the cast seems to know their places. 

“The actors have put in a lot of hard work,” Lafferty continued, “but we have a fairly large tech crew who’s about to get started and we have a lot of parent volunteers. . . so it really takes a ton of people to put on a musical.” 

Lafferty really depends on the two stage managers, juniors Meg Elfring and Mara Vanderbeek, to make sure everything is running smoothly. “We keep track of all the moving parts,” said Elfring. 

Credit: Kendall Sloan Stage managers Mara Vanderbeck and Maragaret Elfring carefully watch the ongoing rehearsal. The two have both the script and movements on hand just for reference.

“We have to write down everything,” added Vanderbeek “where everyone moves and what the dance moves are.” 

Perhaps most importantly, however, students have time to enjoy being with their friends and build new relationships among fellow cast members. 

“A lot of these people. . . we have crazy lives,” said cast member and junior Yacine Lo. “So musical rehearsal is really the time that we have dedicated to each other and our friendships.” 

Freshman Leeland Wagner has a similar opinion and enjoys being with the cast members. 

“I really, really love just hanging out with everybody,” Wagner continued, “like just working together and we all come up with creative ideas to add.” 

This musical has brought together students with varying degrees of experience. Some like senior Liam Braun, have had plenty of experience with acting and musicals. 

“I was in the musical freshman and sophomore year,” Braun said. “Then I was in the play freshman year and then I’ve also done forensics.” 

Others have had no experience whatsoever but were called to try out for this musical and have made wonderful additions to the cast. For example, this musical is freshman Leeland Wagner’s first theatrical production.  

“I’ve always liked musical theater,” said Wagner. “I’ve never been in the cast, but I may as well try it out.”