The play is a BF tradition that over 100 student participants get to enjoy every year. Many people put in so much hard work every single week leading up to the show. With that said, you might be wondering what it takes to keep a tradition like this going, and it all boils down to multiple different aspects that come together to make a great performance. The combined efforts of multiple teachers and over one hundred students put on a spectacular show for all the students of the BF student body and parents to see. But how do they pull it off?
There are a total of 14 rehearsals, the first being mostly an informative meeting, telling the students when and how to audition, as well as the teachers’ jobs and their role in progressing the show. The three teachers that are involved are; Ms. Mcann, who will choreograph and also direct. Mr. Ordini, the teacher in charge of the stage crew and helping with directing, and Mrs. Kawash, the musical director for the show. This meeting also educates the first-time actors and stage – crew about the rules and regulations of the BF Players program. Even before the first meeting, the teachers in charge of the play had to decide what play they wanted to do.
In an interview with Mrs. Kawash she said that she owes all the credit to Ms. McCan. While talking to her she admits, “At first, I hadn’t seen the actual show but she suggested it and I watched it, and I thought, really it’s absolutely perfect because it’s very age-appropriate for you guys. It’s really middle school/high school level – it takes place in a school, takes place at home. It’s very current day and the music is so fun it actually reminds me of High School Musical 2, so I thought it was a really perfect choice . . .” Choosing which play to do is a crucial decision that Mrs. Kawash, Ms. McCan and Mr. Ordini have to make. They need to make sure the students, as well as the audience, enjoy it. The chosen play must be age-appropriate for middle schoolers while also making sure it is challenging enough and interesting enough for the students to enjoy.
Soon after the announcement of the show, the auditions take place. In past years the auditions have taken place on Wednesdays along with the other meetings, but this year the auditions were on a Tuesday. This ensures that the eager students can know their parts by the end of the week. Usually, the script is distributed to the students before the parts are assigned, so the actors can learn the material and get ready for the upcoming rehearsals and the show at the end of the year.
This year, however, the scripts will be handed out after everyone has a part. Something that some people don’t know is that the script is much more than a sheet of paper and some lines – it is what gets everyone involved and more interested in what’s to come. Some kids are more excited or more disappointed about the contents of the pages. Some people get even more confused about the play and what their job will be. Although everyone ends up figuring it out and people are always excited to perform, the script is still an experience in and of itself, and something that is awaited for by the cast members for weeks.
For the rest of the season, the students practice their lines and songs, until eventually rehearsing the entire play. By this time, the days are being counted down for the show, and the season is coming to a close. Then, after months of preparation, the day of the show happens.
Show day is full of chaos, with cast members everywhere. People are getting their hair and makeup done, reviewing lines and lyrics, practicing their choreography, and so much more. “Backstage, I feel nervous . . . but prepared, and I know that when I go on stage, I’m not gonna back out, and I’m hyping myself up backstage so I can be prepared to do that.” Matt Carver, a 3-year participant in the BF Play, said. “When I’m finally up on stage, I’m into my character, and I forget all those nervous feelings. However, I am thinking of all the tricks and tips that help me stay calm on stage. For example, I look at the clock and not at the audience, which helps me think that I’m in a comfortable situation.” Multiple stage members have described acting on stage an experience like no other, especially in front of all the parents and friends of the performers. In fact, most of the participants feel that performing in front of their family and friends is worse than performing in front of the entire school! All members reflect on the performance as an experience to remember.
In conclusion, the BF play is a one of a kind experience. Those fourteen weeks of rehearsal are full of fun times and hard work. Even people that aren’t the stereotypical “theatre kids” can enjoy the magic of the show. The window to join the show this year has already been closed, but the sixth and seventh graders that are on the fence should join next year. This show is a fun and exciting experience that can last for longer than just fourteen practices because the participants can look back on the times they had in the BF players and have a little laugh with the people they met and the friends they established. With more and more people joining every year, the tradition of the BF Play can continue for years to come.