The Glenbrook South Variety Show (V-Show) is a production that students, faculty and the community look forward to every year. According to director Stevi Marks, “Carpe Diem” will be the theme of this year’s 38th annual V-Show.
“‘Carpe Diem’ means ‘seize the day’,” Marks said. “It’s about celebration of the moment and making good choices [now] that propel us to a greater future.”
According to Marks, students were asked to keep the theme in mind when coming up with ideas for variety acts. Marks believes that “Carpe Diem” allowed for a wide range of interpretation.
“It’s great to have a broad theme because then we can really have variety within the structure of them all relating to ‘Carpe Diem’,” Marks said. “I think the students found it pretty easy to find music and also think about ideas for seizing the moment and celebrating who they are and the things that are important in their life.”
Along with the variety acts, Singer/Dancers, Comedy Troupe and Stage Crew all found ways to adhere to the theme while still embracing their own traditions.
Singer/Dancers is a group consisting of ten female and ten male students who will appear in five acts in this year’s V-Show. Their acts consist of the group singing and dancing to songs that relate to the theme of “Carpe Diem”.
“We are opening the show with ‘Seize the Day’ from Newsies, which is our most obvious nod to the title of the show,” senior Singer/Dancer Ellen Hirsch said. “The rest of our numbers center around the theme of embracing each day as your last or the general idea of living it up and having fun in the moment.”
Hirsch enjoys the wide variety of interpretation the theme “Carpe Diem” has provided for the Singer/Dancers.
“Because seizing the day means enjoying the moment, it brings a really fun
and happy mood to a lot of the numbers,” Hirsch said.
According to senior Singer/Dancer Nicolle De Roeck, practices are three to five days a week where the Singer/Dancers rehearse dances and musical numbers. Singer/Dancers learn the music with the backup singers, a choir of students who sing Singer/Dancer songs under the stage during the V-Show.
“In dance practice, we are with Marla, our choreographer, in the drama/dance room,” De Roeck said. “We choreograph, learn and perfect our dances. In music practices, we are in the choir room with [choral director Marty] Sirvatka where we learn the songs for the show.”
According to senior Singer/Dancer Murray Campbell, Singer/Dancers connect with each other in order to enhance the quality of their numbers.
“We really like to work on the whole ‘building a family’ aspect of the group because it really helps us trust one another in performances,” Campbell said.
Hirsch explained the positive aspects of successful teamwork within the group.
“Being a Singer/Dancer gives me an awesome opportunity to participate in [V-Show],” Hirsch said. “I used to always be jealous of people with athletic abilities because they get to experience that camaraderie that accompanies working together for some greater goal. With Singer/Dancers, I get to experience that feeling.”
Comedy Troupe, a cast of 20 students that performs humorous skits, will appear in five acts in this year’s V-Show.
Among Comedy Troupe, there is a group called Spur of the Moment (Spur), composed of seniors Jeff Collins, Allie Kahan, Kevin McDermott, Raina Payne and Molly Quinn. Spur is in charge of writing all Comedy Troupe skits that are intended to capture the overall theme of V-Show.
“It’s hard to think of an idea for a script about seizing the day,” Kahan said. “You really have to be creative and think of it from a different angle. I enjoy that personal challenge, and I think, as a group, we succeed at making each script unique and different.”
According to Kahan, Spur is always looking for the best, most humorous approaches to each year’s theme.
“The process for Spur of the Moment starts pretty much as soon as we find out what the theme is,” Kahan said. “From then on, it’s just constant brainstorming as a group for different things involving that theme. For example, with ‘Carpe Diem’, immediately our thoughts were ‘YOLO’, people who have seized the day in history and pop culture, stuff like that.”
According to Beth Barber, Comedy Troupe director, after a list of skit ideas is produced, each member of Spur picks a topic they want to write about. From then on, the Spur members work on creating a script that encapsulates the V-Show theme and also includes all members of the Comedy Troupe cast.
“[Eventually], we hone it down to five viable scripts,” Barber said. “We keep writing and writing until we get to the scripts we think are the best. It takes a while.”
According to Kahan, up until a few weeks before V-Show, scripts are still a work in progress.
“We’re always looking to make [skits] funnier, better, stronger,” Kahan said. “We all want each other’s scripts to succeed, so we’re tearing each other’s apart [by] editing [and] revising. It’s just really not finished until a few weeks before V-Show, and then it’s set in stone.”
Stage Crew is comprised of a group of students from all grades who work many hours before and during V-Show. The crew is responsible for controlling the show’s lighting, hooking up the sound, and designing and constructing the stage.
As far as how the stage will portray this year’s theme, senior Caeli Cleary, Stage Crew member, explained that the set will allow the performances to give their own “Carpe Diem” feel.
“It’s kind of funny,” Cleary said. “The set doesn’t really have anything to do with seizing the day, but I think that’s what’s good about the theme. It doesn’t have defined boundaries, so the acts can have more variety, and the set can be whatever it feels.”
According to sophomore Emily Horvath, Stage Crew member, aside from construction, the weeks before V-Show are spent rehearsing the show with the performers and going through technical lighting and sound cues.
“[During tech], we run through the show multiple times,” Horvath said. “We make sure the sound is perfect and the lighting cues are written with the props on stage in the right place at the right time. It’s the time where we fix any problems we have.”
Senior Sophie Hartler, Stage Crew member, further explained how problems may not only occur during rehearsal, but they could also occur during the nights of the actual show.
“The challenges are definitely being prepared for anything that could happen,” Hartler said. “A lot of things can go wrong that no one would expect, but we have to be ready to fix it. The nights of V-Show can be very hectic, but we all have a lot of energy and report to our assigned jobs.”
For Horvath, being on stage crew is a challenge in itself, and although it takes commitment, the time spent is worth it.
“[Each day] we arrive earlier than everyone else and leave later than everyone else,” Horvath said. “You have to be able to manage your time well and be on top of things. It’s a lot of stress, but it’s rewarding in the end.”
The V-Show will begin Wednesday, Feb. 20, and conclude after the Saturday, Feb. 23 show. Tickets can be purchased at showtix4u.com.