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‘Brigadoon’ will cast its spell at Mountain Crest

November 12th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

By Rachel Kenley

HYRUM – Mountain Crest High School has been turned into a Scottish paradise for the next week as students prepare to debut their fall musical, Brigadoon.

Thursday afternoon, actors bustled about the stage, musicians tuned their instruments and stage crew communicated via radio before the start of tech rehearsal. With less than a week before opening night, the excitement is palpable. The actors are – quite literally – dressed to the hilt, with girls in long, solid-colored skirts and boys in traditional kilts.

While some teenage boys might be opposed to donning a kilt, these actors seemed to embrace it whole-heartedly. Seventeen-year-old Trevor Miller, who portrays the scalawag Harry Beaton, was one of these. “I tried out solely because of the idea that I’d get to wear a kilt,” he said.

Cimmeron Merchant, 18, tried out for Brigadoon because of her passion for drama. “I want to be an actress so bad,” she said. “What I love about theater is you get to be a part of a world that doesn’t exist.”

This is certainly the case for the performers in this year’s musical, set in the mythical Scottish town of Brigadoon, which appears only once every 100 years.

When New Yorkers Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas stumble upon the town while hunting abroad, their lives and the lives of the Brigadoon residents are changed forever. Tommy meets and falls in love with Fiona MacLaren, Jeff is involved in some shady business with Harry Beaton, and both eventually have to face the realization that they must either stay in Brigadoon forever, or return to New York and convince themselves, as Jeff says, that Brigadoon is just a dream. At the end of the play, town sage Mr. Lundie sums up the message of the production by telling Tommy, “When ye love someone deeply enough, anythin’ is possible. Even miracles.”

As an audience member, it’s easy to get lost in the magic of Brigadoon, thanks to the painted canvas backdrop and several fog machines operated by student stage manager Kristen Franke. Scottish dancing also enhances the believability of the play – although that achievement didn’t come easily.

The students almost universally agreed that the dancing was the most difficult aspect of the production. Sixteen-year-old Karen Wyatt was no novice dancer when she auditioned. “I’ve done dances before but Scottish dancing? I’ve never done dancing like that. It was a little challenging, but it was a good experience.”

Emma Mark, 17, agreed, and added, “This musical has so much dancing in it, it’s crazy! We’ve all adapted to it well and our choreographers have been amazing.”

Volunteer choreographers Tasha Bush and Audrey Schmidt were committed to keeping the dancing as authentic as possible, which required extra work on the part of the students. The hard work has paid off, however, as the stellar dancing is one of the most impressive elements of the show.

Of course, no performance would ever make it to opening night without a director. Sarah Hall, history and drama teacher at Mountain Crest High School, fills this role. This is her second year heading the drama department, so she said she was able to apply her experience from last year’s successful production, Annie Get Your Gun. MCHS performs a musical each fall, a play each February, and a student-directed variety show in the spring. “Our program is still building,” Hall said.

The MCHS students will perform Brigadoon at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 through Saturday, Nov. 19. Students and senior citizens can see the play for $5; general admission is $7.


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