Spring Musical Announced at CVHS Thespian Dance

Photos by Michelle KHACHATRYAN
From left, Asante Guzik, Katelyn Walter and Katelyn Fester

By Grace BENNETT, Intern

On Sept. 6, the Crescenta Valley High School (CVHS) Thespian Society hosted its annual Thespian Dance where theater students came together to dance and socialize and, most importantly, where the announcement would be made of what would be the spring musical.

Students arrived extravagantly dressed in accordance with the 2019 theme: The ’80s. The night featured fun-filled competitions and games including musical chairs and “Twister.” There were also contests for best ’80s dance, as well as best ’80s costume, with several people recognized in various categories.

From left, Ciaran Pierce and Cassidy Prasertsit

Although these activities were fun, it was the announcement of what would be the spring musical that the attendees most looked forward to. The spring musical is a chance for students to show off their vocal and theatrical talents. The announcement is made annually at the Thespian Dance.

Kathi Chaplar Beerman, the introductory theater teacher at CVHS and musical director of the play, revealed to the students that in the spring CVHS would be performing “The Fantasticks” written by Tim Jones.

Center is Asante Guzik.

This musical is well known in the theatrical world for its themes of unity and love, the span of its running time off of Broadway, and its catchy and iconic score. The directors chose this play not only for these reasons, but also to continue the alternating nature of the yearly productions’ overall tones.

“We like to do a serious piece one year, and then a lighter piece the next. Last year, ‘The Addams Family’ was farce [and] light,” Chaplar-Beerman said. “While ‘The Fantasticks’ is not dramatic in that sense, it is a little weightier.”

Center is Mary Duquette.

Brent Beerman, the advanced drama teacher at CVHS and co-director and choreographer of the musical alongside Kay Cole, added that another factor in their choice was the prominence of this play in terms of the theater world.

“If you’re going to be learning in theater, you need to know ‘The Fantasticks’ because [for] people in theater this is a part of their daily speech,” Beerman said.

Although the reasons for choosing the musical were clear, selecting and finalizing the material to execute the project proved to be difficult. As it is every year, according to Chaplar Beerman, the directors had to take into account both the actors who were available to them and their skill levels.

From left are Jimmy Chacon, Cait MacMillan and Gianna Caudillo

“We pick a show with the thought that [if] nobody new walks through the door, [we could] potentially do it … A lot of it is trying to find the best vehicle for our returning students. Both [Kay Cole] and I feel that this was the right time,” Chaplar Beerman said.

Looking ahead, both of the directors hope to use this experience as a valuable teaching tool to ultimately aid students in their theater learning process. As teachers, they strive to not only pursue this goal with the spring musical but also in the numerous other productions taking place throughout the year.

“I have the same hope that I have every year in that we provide the best experience we can for our theater students, and that we select a variety of shows so that there are places for all [students] who want to participate in the program,” Chaplar Beerman said.

With this mindset, along with the unity and camaraderie now shared among the theater members, the CVHS drama department is confident that it will stun the crowd yet again with its 2020 rendition of “The Fantasticks.”

“I know it’s going to be a really solid show,” Chaplar Beerman said.