Bring It On - September 12 - September 22, 2019

Booker T Washington HSPVA

 Director's Note 

Wow! Just Wow! When I was first approached to direct Bring It On: The Musical, I thought, “well, this will be a fun ride.” 


Kids around the school were perplexed, “Why is the teacher who wears all black and high heeled doc martens directing ‘the cheer musical’?” “What does objective based acting have to do with ‘the cheer musical’?”


So, little secret: I was a high school cheerleader. AND I was a high school Thespian. I refused to wear a hair bow, wore tons of angsty black eyeliner, had a massive hippie side but I loved the sport of cheer. I could be an intellectual snob and a deep thinker and a true, true theater kid but I also wanted to jump and tumble and be part of my cheer squad. To many I was an enigma. 


As I started working on the script, I began to realize how the whole show deals with the same apparent chasm that I was splitting in high school: I mean, a pop/rap musical about cheerleaders that nods to the Grateful Dead?!?!?!  The cheers and stunts have to be real- they have to bring the excitement of real cheer, but we also have a story to tell. A poignant story that is as silly as it can be at times.


I have always struggled with taking myself too seriously. And here I am at a crossroads in my life, 30 years after my high school cheer days; twenty five years into my career life in theater. And now, I am asked to revisit the dichotomy between cheer and theater through directing Bring It On: The Musical. The Universe has a funny way of bringing things full circle. And of not letting me take myself too seriously. 


So, we came into this thing with students who are serious dancers but never acted, serious musicians who could belt like crazy but had never danced, serious actors who are adroit with psychological realism but not the big brassy world of Musical Theater. And almost none of them had cheer experience. We started the summer in DISD Cheer Camp with Express Cheer and ended the summer with two weeks of 7 hour a day/6 days a week rehearsal. With an incredible amount of dedication, sweat and yes, some blood in stunt rehearsals, these students keep lifting each other up (literally), making each other laugh and reminding me that this journey can be incredibly fun. 


With the amazeballs choreography of Jeremy Davis-Towle (who I am so thankful to meet on this road and who did twice as much on this show as you can possibly imagine) and Kelly Poché Rodriguez’s brilliant music direction, the worlds began to meld into a crazy big show about a cheerleader who discovers who she really is and what is really important in life.


And I am reminded every day that life is a journey, but doesn’t have to be too serious and that sometimes two divergent roads lead you to the same destination.

 So, no matter where you are you might as well enjoy the trip.


-Lisa Cotie, Director

Page 27 of 43