CHS Students audition for annual musical

Story by Zeb White
Staff Writer, Asst. Business manager

Video by Alex Smith

“I’ve seen good productions and I’ve seen bad productions,” Lisa Tabor said to the eager performers. “This is going to be a good production.”

With that goal in mind, Coppell High School’s lead theatre director Tabor held auditions on August 31st and Sept 1st for the musical “Into the Woods”. This musical is a comedic compilation of a variety of fairytales, and will open on the CHS main stage on October 28th.

Teenagers from all different groups showed up to try out—including athletes, dancers, student leaders, freshmen in the Academies, and choir members. Students’ motives for trying out were just as diverse as their backgrounds.

“I think it would be a good experience… and trying out will be fun!” said Travis Chin, a CHS freshman.

Students like Travis typically audition in hopes to enjoy the musical and everything it entails. Other students are driven by more direct reasons.

“I absolutely love theatre and singing, and everything about it! Theatre is my life and I just love doing musicals,” explained Erika Thrasher, a junior.

The audition process for “Into the Woods” was split into two parts: acting and singing. The singing portion took place in the choir room, where students took their turns belting out showtunes in hopes to impress the two CHS choir directors and Gary Okeson, the musical director for the show.

“Singing in front of Gary and Mr. Schultz and Mr. Torres is definitely the hardest part [of the audition],” junior Judy Hong, a participant in CHS’s two most recent musicals, said.

While singing for the directors proved intimidating for some, the acting portion posed just as many challenges. Hopeful students read cuts from the “Into the Woods” script while Tabor took notes on their performance and occasionally made comments. Her suggestions ranged from simple—“speak up, we can’t hear you!”—to more peculiar remarks.

“J.P., I need more wolf!” Tabor said as sophomore John Paul Ho read onstage.

Tabor has been working at CHS for the past 10 years, and she says that she loves directing high school students. Students seem to enjoy working with Tabor—particularly on the annual musical.

“Ms. Tabor is awesome. I mean, she gets into those little ‘Ms. Tabor modes’, but without that, nothing would get done. She’s one of the best directors that I’ve ever worked with and she’s a lot of fun,” Hong said.

Aside from the joys of directing a stellar production, Tabor has to decide which of the auditioning students to cut. About 65 people tried out, which means that some 40 teenagers would go home disappointed.

“If I don’t make the cast, I’ll go home and cry in a corner,” Chin said jokingly.

But for some students, the fear of not getting cast is real. Freshman Morgan Hobgood, who had her heart set on making the show, expressed her thoughts on the issue.

“The hardest part of trying out is watching everyone go before you and realizing that they’re trying to get the same part that you are,” Hobgood said.

Regardless of who gets cast, everyone trying out agrees that this is going to be a great show.

“I would tell everyone that this is the best show! Everyone needs to come out to see it because the music is wonderful and everyone is just so great,” Thrasher said. “We have the best directors and vocal coaches; I know it’ll be an awesome show!”