42nd Street - March 05 - March 08, 2020

Eden High School

 From The Director... 

In nearly 50 years of Eden High School Musicals, it's safe to say we've never embarked on a project quite like this one.  In fact, this is the first time in that span that Eden has pulled out their tap shoes to produce 42nd Street.  

 

I grew up playing baseball.  In that sport, the ultimate player is a "5-Tool Player".  One who can hit for a high batting average, hit for power, run, throw, and play the field well. Musical theater has somthing similar.  It's called the "Triple Threat".  A performer who can sing, act, and dance.  In high school, that last part is one that will often send shivers down a student's spine (especially guys).  I know, because I love to sing, enjoy acting...but dancing?  I typically leave that to my beautiful wife and talented daughter, both of whom have studied the craft for years.

 

So why in the world would I chose a "triple threat" show for Eden? (You could count on two hands how many of our students had ever put a tap shoe on in their life). Several reasons, not the least of which is that I'm a firm believer in challenging our students.  After Directing them for the first time last year and watching how quickly they picked up concepts, I knew they'd be up to it.  I also knew many of them would be scared silly by the idea of this amount of dancing...especially tap.  

 

There's a saying I have tried to embrace most of my adult life.  Fear is the energy behind doing your best work.  I first experienced the truth in this statement thanks to two of my music teachers in high school.  They put me in several situations that seriously challenged my resolve.  Play the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar over upperclassmen you thought would get the role.  Play a Mozart Horn Concerto in a chair, by yourself, in front of the Orchestra.  Play a homemade Harpsichord in concert.  All of which I feared, until I put my head down and realized that with a little work and resolve it was nothing to be scared of.  It was, in fact, incredibly rewarding.

 

This production has been a great opportunity to pass those lessons to the next generation. After announcing 42nd Street, we hosted several free, voluntary "Intro to Tap" workshops at three local studios this past summer.  It was an opportunity for the students to "get their feet wet" and see that tap was nothing to fear.  In fact, it was FUN!  Many of them embraced it.  They went out and got their own tap shoes.  And yes, even the guys in our cast were eager to learn.  

 

Make no mistake, what you see this weekend has been an enormous amount of work that has required a lot of patience and resolve on everyone's part.  We have had times of extreme frustration, mixed with rushes of adrenaline and moments that will be lasting memories thanks to the work put in.  There is nothing better than the "AHA!" moment where it clicks.  We've had so many of those. 

 

Our cast features a huge range of students from 6th-12th grade.  While we are technically a high school production, we feel it's important to include the 6th-8th graders whenever to keep stoking their interest in theater and the arts.  They've responded very well, and I'm always impressed with the willingness of our upperclassmen to mentor their younger peers.  

 

I am incredibly proud of this group, on and off the stage. The costuming is massive, the sets are big, the orchestration is no small feat.  We're confident that you'll enjoy every minute of the final product. 

 

As I've said to our team of volunteers and students several times over the past few months, we celebrate effort...not talent.  There is plenty to celebrate with this production.  Thank you for supporting the arts at Eden by being here to celebrate this fantastic show with us.

 

Matt Gould

Director and Dad of two cast members

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