Students prepare for “Emma: A Pop Musical”


Photo Courtesy of Nara Hamburger

Cast members in “Emma: A Pop Musical” rehearse for their upcoming shows.

Yusha Ahsan, Staff Writer

While spring break promises relaxation for most students, thespians at Wakefield High School performing in “Emma: A Pop Musical” continue to prepare for their upcoming shows. These students, spanning from freshmen to seniors, reflect on how the musical is progressing. 

“At the moment, we just finished blocking the show, so we are running through scenes [and] fixing everything up,” senior Anastasia Crosby said. “On the tech side, we are working on sets and other technical elements.”

Junior Genny Augustin is the lead of this performance, playing the titular role of Emma. Augustin explains what this specific musical is predominately about. 

“‘Emma’s about this girl who is really ambitious, really popular, and she’s a matchmaker– or at least she tells herself she is,” Augustin said. “The story [revolves around] her trying to get everyone together while also not knowing what she wants herself.” 

Moreover, the dedicated students enrolled in this musical attend rehearsal running after school for hours at a time. Rehearsal consists of blocking, musical choreography and retaining lines. 

“Rehearsals are usually anywhere from three to five hours long, with a break in between,” Augustin said. “We block, choreograph, [sing], learn our music and do memorization but once we have the skeleton of the show we just keep running it to make it cleaner and perfect it.” 

“Emma: A Pop Musical” differs from other musicals in the sense that it solely focuses on one particular music genre. Paul Orsett, the theater arts teacher at WHS, elaborates on how this show contrasts from previous productions. 

Emma’s about this girl who is really ambitious, really popular, and she’s a matchmaker– or at least she tells herself she is.”

— Augustin

“Emma is all pop music and I have never done a show that had pop music in it, [so] I thought that [it] would be a challenge,” Orsett said. 

Likewise, this musical involves a small cast compared to others. Nara Hamburger is a freshman at WHS, and plays one of the welcoming committee members in “Emma: A Pop Musical”. She acknowledges the challenges the cast members faced with a small cast

“The cast is very small. There’s only [around] 30 people [while] usually there are 40 to 50,” Hamburger said. “Everybody has to always be there or else something goes wrong.” 

Throughout the duration of rehearsal, some obstacles can tend to reveal themselves which the cast members must overcome as a team.

“I would say one of our biggest challenges is doing things as an ensemble, so when it requires the whole cast,” Crosby said. “It can be difficult to keep everybody on track and on the same track but as time progresses we are getting closer and working even better together.”

“Emma: A Pop Musical” will be performed live on April 28, 29 and 30 at 7 p.m., with an additional 2 p.m. show on the 30th. Attendees may purchase tickets online to reserve a seat.  The cast has high hopes for how everything is coming together for the show and is anticipating the final product. 

“I think [this musical] will be a success,” Hamburger said. “Everyone in the cast is very determined and happy with how it’s going and wants it to keep going well.”