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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The Prom takes the floor

The Glenbrook Musical spotlights important themes
Maia Weissman
On the Dance Floor: Ilana Lieberman, North senior, looks upon her fellow featured dancers as they rigorously rehearse their challenging choreography. As featured dancers, they are required to difficult choreography to compliment the lead actors.

Identity is everything, especially in high school. This year, The Glenbrook Musical will perform a story embracing identity while embracing comedic elements, Mandi Corrao, Assistant Director and Drama Teacher, said.

The annual show performed by South and North students is contemporary this year: The Prom, Corrao said. The musical follows a high schooler named Emma who causes a stir in her very traditional town when she is not allowed to take her girlfriend, Alyssa, to the prom, resulting in Broadway activist actors intervening, trying to solve the issue for publicity, Corrao explained. Through the plot, the musical tells an important message for everyone in the Glenbrooks to hear, Student Producer sophomore Catherine Pollack said.

“[The Prom] is preaching the acceptance of [everyone],” Pollack said. “[Accepting] people who aren’t like you in such a standardized community as the Glenbrooks is important.”

Covering topics such as homophobia and bullying in a musical is not easy, but, to be successful, the hard work begins in the rehearsals Corrao said. Additionally, the team of adults helping to direct the show, including the director, choreographer, vocal director, and more, are careful about being clear about performing intimacy and offering resources to anyone that needs it, Corrao said.

“It is important that [the production team] establishes a safe rehearsal environment and that starts day one,” Corrao said. “We have open lines of communication. The musical is a completely safe space for [actors] to voice any concerns that [they] have.”

However, the timely issues explored are not portrayed in a dark tone, senior Colin Fox said. The majority of the show is comedy, with a few somber scenes that dive into deeper issues, Fox said. This humorous tone allows the realistic, silly personalities of the characters to shine through and also perpetuates the theme of identity further, Corrao said.

“[Using humor to portray the story] sends a more positive message than if the show was dark and serious,” Corrao said. “Trying to view the world through [a positive] lens is sometimes much more successful than a [negative] tone.”

The show plans on providing the Glenbrook community with more context on LGBTQ+ struggles, ensemble member, sophomore Gretchen Williamson said.

“[Watching The Prom] will give [audience members] another perspective,” Willamson said. “It might give them a view into what it’s like for people in the [LGBTQ+] community and make them think more about the struggles that [different people go through].”

It is important for The Glenbrook Musical to tell the story of The Prom because musical theater has historically silenced important issues such as homophobia, Corrao said.

“There’s no reason why stories [about identity and the LGBTQ+ community] have been left out of the musical theater entertainment world for as long as they have,” Corrao said. “If [we] can start [telling those stories] here in smaller communities, then we’ve done our job.”

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