Sweeney Todd - April 12 - April 21, 2024

Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12

 Director's Note 


Welcome and thank you for supporting our 2024 All-School Musical, Sweeney Todd; the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I want to take a moment to share with you, our audience just how true the words "all school" are for this production. The photo boards and videos shown in the lobby are the work of our student artists in our Visual Arts department. The set we are playing on was constructed and painted by student artists in our Production Technology department. The music you hear is being played by the student artists in our Instrumental Music department, and the actors who are bringing this story to life represent student artists from the Theater, Vocal, Dance, Instrumental and Visual Arts departments.


Yes, we are doing a fully student production of arguably the most challenging work in the cannon of Musical Theater Genius Stephen Sondheim. We are doing the full work, as written by the master himself, not a School Edition.  Since we announced last year, I have heard the choice called ambitious, bold, and insane.  With any other group of students or collaborators on the production team I would be inclined to agree. However, this is a company that comes together once in a lifetime, and the word that I have been using for the past four months is EXTRAORDINARY.  I have full confidence that by the final bow you will understand why.


One last word about the tale itself. I fell in love with this show when I was a high school theater nerd and had the opportunity to see a brilliant production at the Pittsburgh Public Theater—when it was still in the New Hazlett Theater. It was intimate, intense and the most outrageous thing I had ever seen or heard. In the decades since then I have seen many different productions told through many different lenses—some emphasizing the grotesque, some stripped down and intellectualized, some full of spectacle. This production is first and foremost a tragedy. A tragedy of epic, Greek, proportions. These characters are not Demons; they are human beings. Tragically flawed human beings whose obsessions lead them to destroy their humanity as well as what they value most in the world. Any one of us could be Sweeney under the correct set of circumstances. To quote Mr. Sondheim, “Perhaps today you gave a nod, to Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street.”


Thank you for attending our tale.


Jennifer Smith Lybarger, Director

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