Highlighting the Talent of ETLP and Performing Arts Students

Photos taken by Ellie HAWKINS

By Scarlett SALTZMAN, intern

Starting Feb. 23, Crescenta Valley High School (CVHS) Performing Arts presented its annual musical production. This year’s production is “Matilda.” This collaboration between Entertainment Technology and Live Production (ETLP) and the Musical Theater Ensemble class highlights a girl’s journey in a world that lacks respect for her and those traits that make her unique. The dedication and time invested in “Matilda” are evident in the quality of this performance from the moment the curtains rise.

“This is a show that stems from my class. Every year I seek to find a show that matches the talents of the students in front of me,” explained director and choreographer of musical theater, Kathi Chaplar when asked why “Matilda” was chosen. The selection process for each year’s show is student-driven and this year is no different.

“I joined drama because I love to act but I joined musical theater because I love to sing so having a class where I can do both is incredible,” said Amanda Lewin, who was cast as the show’s main character Matilda Wormwood.

Her passion is a driving force for many as Aviv Wilder, cast as Bruce, added, “I joined musical theater last year because I really enjoy singing and thought that acting would be fun. I’m extremely happy that I get to be a part of such a wonderful class. However, students are drawn to this class not only out of passion but also because of its welcoming atmosphere.”

“Over the course of the class we become extremely close – almost like a family of sorts,” said Garvey Anderson, cast as Nigel.

Robyn Arredondo was cast as The Acrobat and acknowledged the significance of teacher Chaplar.

“I want to make a note that Mrs. Chaplar is such an amazing teacher/director and she is the reason why I love drama so much,” said Arredondo. “I thank her for having so much faith in me and giving me a place to be.”

After selecting the show, casting takes place in November, followed by a semester dedicated to memorizing lines and developing characters. Students return from winter break expected to have their roles memorized. January is filled with intensive in-class and after-school rehearsals. Rehearsal concludes in the final four weeks when the work transitions from classroom settings to the stage. This rehearsal process spans about four months in total.

“We then begin to collaborate during class with ETLP … to design the lighting and sound,” Chaplar said.

ETLP students have to ensure that all microphones are operational and linked, as well as prepare lights and sound. If there are props, they have to either find or create them – sometimes create them by hand. ETLP also needs to keep the stage and dressing rooms clean so they wash and mop the entire area frequently.

“There’s a lot of prep that goes into a successful performance,” said Lauren Kim, honors ETLP member.

ETLP members undertake the responsibility of not only preparing all technical elements prior to the play but also verifying their functionality before showtime. Should any technical issues arise during the performance, they are tasked with swiftly and discreetly resolving them to maintain the seamless flow of the show.

Kim, with four other honors ETLP students, devoted an entire week of after-school sessions to create the central bookshelf prominently featured throughout the production. This attention to detail demonstrates the dedication and commitment of the ETLP team to the success of the performance.

“We’re almost like an ant colony, constantly moving around and lifting heavy furniture; no job is unimportant when it comes to producing an amazing show,” said Ellie Hawkins, honors ETLP member.

This production of “Matilda” showcases the vast talent of CVHS’ students and staff. The show continues with performances on March 1 and March 2 at 7 p.m., with tickets available online or at the door.

“Matilda” is performed in the MacDonald Auditorium located in the 4400 block of Ramsdell Avenue. Tickets are $25 for reserved orchestra, $20 for general admission and $10 for student balcony and are available for purchase at the door. Any questions or for more information, email CVHSboxoffice@gmail.com.