By Matthew Barton | Reporter
The bells of Notre Dame ring as a large and talented group of students bring this year’s school musical, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” based off of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel and Disney’s 1996 movie, to life.
Auditions were held on August 8th and roles were posted a few days later. About 110 students auditioned for roles and 65 made it into the musical. Junior Nathan Brown talks about his reaction when he found out he had gotten the lead role of Quasimodo.
“I was on my way to another rehearsal when I found out, and I just felt so overwhelmed. Quasimodo has been a dream role of mine for such a long time, and I was so overwhelmed with joy and happiness that this dream of mine is becoming a reality. It meant a lot, and I’m so thankful for the upcoming opportunity,” Brown said.
Senior Jessica Miller describes what it was like finding out she had the role of Esmeralda.
“I was so shocked and overjoyed all at the same time. Esmeralda is the only girl lead, and there were a lot of other really strong and talented ladies going for it, so it felt really rewarding to see my name as this amazing role,” Miller said.
Brown and Miller have both been in school productions before. Brown explained what it’s like to prepare for his role.
“To prepare for a role, I try and really dive deep into the character and I try [to] understand everything they’re going through. So far, I’ve worked on some of Quasimodo’s songs in voice lessons, and I’ve tried to dive deep into the emotions that he’s feeling. I’ve tried to hop on the rollercoaster of emotions that he goes through throughout the show. He’s a very broken-down and hurt character, and it’s important to find a right way to portray that,” Brown said.
Jessica also described how she prepares for a role and what the cast has been doing.
“I pick up music well from being in choir for years and knowing the musical in general, but memorizing lines is more difficult for me. I try to look over a different scene every night and build on a little more from what I had before. A lot of it is repeating it over to myself until I can’t process any more at that moment,” said Miller.
Miller described preparation for the musical as a difficult, but worthwhile experience.
“As a group we’ve had music rehearsals almost every day for the past couple of weeks and they’ve been great. The music is difficult and overwhelming at times, [but] everyone has done an amazing job of working hard and keeping up with everything being thrown at us.”
The director, Ms. Spires, wants to advertise the many talents of this year’s group of students
“We have students performing from the ISSMA Unisex Choir State Champions, ISSMA Symphony Orchestra State Champions, and the Indiana Thespians State Conference Best Technical Crew. It amazes me that we have such a wide range of talent and success in this group. I am expecting it to be a great show. [This is] definitely not your average high school musical,” Spires said.
This year’s musical is on Friday, October 5th-7th. The showings on Friday and Saturday are at 7:00 p.m. and the show on Sunday is at 1:00 p.m.