Making fetch happen

Glenbrooks prepare for perfectly pink performances


Powerful Plastics: Filling the pink shoes in Mean Girls, this year’s Glenbrook Musical,(left to right) senior Charlotte Wahlert, senior Kelly Hood, and sophomore Paige Johnson portray Karen, Regina, and Gretchen: the infamous “plastics”. Photos by Amie Elliott and Sofia Oyarzún; Photo illustration by Emily Pavlik and Anna Marquardt

Caroline Ohlandt and Anna Marquardt

If there is ever a Wednesday to wear pink, it is April 26, the opening night of Mean Girls, this year’s Glenbrook Musical, which begins a four-day run of performances in South’s Norman E. Watson Auditorium.

In collaboration with North, South students are “making fetch happen”, Mark Maranto, Producer and Assistant Principal for Student Activities, explained. After seeing the production live on Broadway twice, Maranto jumped at the opportunity to acquire the rights to the high school version of Mean Girls upon their release last September, making the Glenbrooks’ production one of the first licensed performances of the show in Illinois, he added.

“I was thrilled when we got the rights [to Mean Girls],” Maranto said. “It is really interesting to high school students because of the themes of popularity, fitting in, [and] being excluded. It is all very relevant.”

Joining the Glenbrook Musical’s creative team this year are Director Stacey Flaster, Choreographer Annie Jo Fischer, Vocal Director Marty Sirvatka, and Mandi Corrao, Assistant Director and Drama Teacher, Maranto explained. Flaster, Fischer, and Sirvatka are professionals in their respective fields and were selected specifically for this production, a change that senior Charlotte Wahlert believes will push the Glenbrooks’ rendition of Mean Girls to exceed all expectations. 

“I have never been in a show where everyone is [performing] the best they ever have [like the Glenbrook Musical],” Wahlert said. “I want the audience to really see how much work we have put into this show. Hopefully they see [Mean Girls] not just as a high school play, but [as a production with] really passionate students that love performing.” 

Proving that she can, indeed, run the world in shoes she cannot walk in, Wahlert portrays Karen Smith, the intellectually challenged yet kind-hearted sidekick to queen bee Regina George. A long time lover of the Mean Girls movie and musical, Wahlert expressed her enthusiasm to bring her character to life. 

“When I found out [Mean Girls] was [chosen for this year’s Glenbrook Musical], I was ecstatic [because] I love it so much [and it is] kind of risque; I like [that] we could do something new [and] exciting,” Wahlert said. “It is just so much fun.”

A fellow fan of the musical, Flaster applauds the show’s accuracy to students’ real lives, as she believes Mean Girls is a commentary on many of the uncomfortable experiences that adolescents face on a regular basis. 

“What is so beautiful about this process is that the kids are playing [characters] their age–these are real situations,” Flaster said. “Mean Girls is a satire on high school life; mean girls are being highlighted in an extreme way to point out hypocrisy.”

Beyond solely its subject matter, freshman Bekah Vogt, featured dancer and part of the tap ensemble, believes that the show has allowed the cast to explore a modern style of performance, as Mean Girls is more contemporary than the musicals that high schools typically choose. 

“The choreography, the songs, [and] even the script [of Mean Girls] is just so unique,” Vogt said. “[It is] not like any other musical that high schools do.”

Flaster emphasized that despite having directed over 75 high school and professional productions throughout her career, she has never seen a show of this caliber be shared between two high schools.

“Two different schools coming together [for a musical] is a really unique opportunity,” Flaster said. “It gives the kids a lot of new [opportunities and] makes for a really exciting experience.”

Present at every rehearsal in her role as Student Producer, sophomore Claira Paul has seen firsthand that the connections between South and North students is strong both on and off the stage. 

“The kids [from North] are cool, creative, and funny,” Paul said. “[Each rehearsal is] like a family reunion.”

Senior Ensemble Member Lila Becker believes that being a part of a major production like the Glenbrook Musical is an invaluable experience for all involved.

“Having such a large cast [of 92 students] gives insight into what musical theatre is really like in the professional world,” Becker said. “Being a part of something larger than yourself and seeing the amount of time you put into something to share with the community is very special.”