Spring musical Matilda set to be success


Noah Negoski

Senior Georgia Fortuna (Miss Honey) and junior Phoebe Magalang (Matilda) rehearse lines after school.

Anna Wittenkeller, Staff Writer

The Plainfield South Creative Arts Department is showcasing Matilda the Musical for its spring musical, premiering March 17.
One of the musical directors, Jessica Carey (also South’s Director of Choir), shares the story behind the musical.
“[Mr. Hueg (Spring Musical Director) and I] wanted to tell a beautiful story where students could not only have fun and create, but they could find their own voice as actors. We wanted something funny, entertaining, but also heartwarming and touching, [so] Matilda quickly became the perfect story for South,” Carey says.
Production for the musical began last spring, but it was not without its costs.
“The beginning phases of planning involve a lot of brainstorming for set designs, lighting plans and costume plots. We have to pay for show rights, building materials, set pieces, props, costumes, wigs, makeup, lights, choreography, etc.,” Carey says.
Besides the behind-the-scenes crew, the student actors have a large part to play.
“We have roughly 2 ½ months to put on an entire show. The first two weeks are focused on music and vocals. Then we move to blocking, running acts together, music review, sitzprobe, and finally start adding in the tech elements. It’s a long and very high intensity process that kids are eager to participate in,” Carey said.
Many of the students involved are excited for their upcoming performances.
The lead character, Phoebe Magalang, says she is looking forward to getting to know the cast better, as well as performing onstage as Matilda, her second musical theatre role.
“I have more chances to interact with others on stage and be more involved. Putting on a persona that’s younger than I am is different. This challenges me as an actor because Matilda is very intelligent and mature. Her diction is bright and her actions are emotionally charged, which contrasts with my previous roles,” Magalang said.
Carter Myers, senior, who has been active in Plainfield South theatre since freshman year, says he is looking forward to playing Miss Agatha Trunchbull, the mean teacher.
“This role offers me quite a lot of range potential and ways to play the character. I am very excited to show the audience my character,” Myers said.
Senior Georgia Fortuna, a former Madrigal Dinner member who plays Miss Honey, says she is a well rounded character, but challenging to play, as she has to create a character within a character.
“Miss Honey puts up a kind facade to hide the turmoil of her past, it is difficult to portray almost two different characters in one,” Fortuna said.
While many may think that they are too late to develop a theatre career, that may not be so. Myers and Fortuna have advice for that.
“I started my theatre journey my freshman year, if you want to be involved, just go for it! Audition for upcoming shows, school or not. Put yourself out there, you will have a blast,” Myers advises. “Theatre has offered me so many unique opportunities in my life, and I know it has done the same for many other people.”
Fortuna, who has had the dream of being in a musical since elementary school, says it’s never too late to start. Fortuna felt she missed her chance to join the theatre program her junior year.
“My senior year, I decided to join anyway. Even if it feels like you missed your chance, it’s never too late to get started,” Fortuna said.
Magalang, who started acting in high school as ensemble in South’s production of “Chicago” and in Madrigals, also has advice for those that aspire to be in theatre.
“Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Theatre, to me, is all about expressing yourself and I definitely found that connection within Matilda,” Magalang says.
Carey has advice for those who aspire to be a part of a theatre production one day.
“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. [The directors] will be your best supporters throughout the process. Take your time to prepare, ask questions and don’t be afraid to try,” Carey advises.
Carey has been directorially involved in four musicals, and Matilda will be her fifth.
“I’ve directed and vocal coached The Addams Family, High School Musical, Cinderella, Little Women, and now Matilda,” Carey says.
Matilda the Musical will premiere on South’s stage on Friday, March 17 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 18 at 7:00pm, and Sunday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m.
“Come out and see the show. You truly don’t want to miss it,” Carey says.