Fall musical preview


Credit: Meg Trogolo

WHSTE will perform the musical “Just So” in November, the first fall musical at WHS since 2009. “Reading the script and learning the music is really bringing a whole new life to [the production],” junior Anna Marobella said.

Meg Trogolo

WHSTE’s fall 2015 production will be the musical “Just So,” which is based on author Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories.” It will be the first fall musical put on by WHS students since 2009.

Kipling published “Just So Stories” in 1902, and the book was adapted into a musical in 1984. The original stories are about a variety of different animals, but the musical is about an elephant and a bird who go on a journey.

“I think that the main topic of ‘Just So’ is finding yourself, finding how you fit and finding what is the journey to finding what fits on you,” drama teacher Richard Weingartner said.

Junior and WHSTE member Anna Marobella expressed excitement about the choice to perform “Just So.”

“Not many people have heard of it, and we were all kind of skeptical at first, but reading the script and learning the music is really bringing a whole new life to [the production],” Marobella said.

Weingartner explained what he expects will be another difference between “Just So” and previous productions.

When you do something like ‘Footloose’ or even ‘Beauty and the Beast’, it has more mature themes to it, but this really is an all-ages show,” Weingartner said. “You could have little kids come to see the show. You could have older folks and anybody in between.”

The style of music featured in the show varies greatly, according to Weingartner.

“[The musical numbers are] so many different genres. Some of it’s rock and roll, some of it’s reggae, some of it has a Broadway sound. It really goes all over the place, and the sound is very eclectic,” Weingartner said. “The music reflects the emotional temperature of the story.”

 For this musical, Weingartner has introduced a new dimension to character development.

Actors are creating “backstage characters” in addition to the roles in which they were cast. These characters are members of a fictional English acting troupe named the Kipling Company, after the original author of the “Just So Stories.”

“We have to find other character bodies and ways of speaking and backgrounds for ourselves that we can be backstage when we’re not our animal characters,” Marobella said. “It’s kind of complicated, but it helps keep us in character.”

Junior and costume designer Clare Lippincott has been faced with a challenge in creating costumes for a show where only two characters are human.

“We’ve got such an interesting design for this show,” Lippincott said. “Working without getting into too much of the Eeyore onesie style is really fun.”

“Just So” will mark a return to WHSTE’s previous practice of putting on a musical in the fall. For the past five years, musicals have taken place in the spring.

“It was originally in the fall, and we just simply moved it back to where it had been for a long period of time,” Weingartner said. “I like doing it in the fall. It’s been here in the fall for a long time.”

“Just So” will run from November 12-14, 2015, with two performances on November 14.


Parker Bryant: Rhino
Sophia Calder: Kolokolo Bird
Renee Case: Elephant/Ingredient/Wallaby
Naiya Davis: Elephant Queen/Wallaby
Jackson DiIanni: Elephant’s Child
Olivia Goddard: Ingredient/Wildebeest 1
Tyler Johnsen: Elephant King/Jaguar/Wallaby
Clara Lagor: Elephant/Giraffe/Ingredient
Thomas Leacu: Leopard/Crocodile
Melinda Kalanzis: Stove/Elephant
Anna Marobella: Ingredient/Dingo Dog
Ryan Martin: Wallaby
Liam McNeish: Kangaroo
Catriona Oliver: Zebra/Ingredient/Wallaby
Andrea Ponce: Ingredient
Emily Rader: Wildebeest 4
Bella Rocha: Ingredient
Larissa Sehringer: Wildebeest 2
Sten Shearer: Elephant/Parsee Man/Wallaby
Tim Spinale: Eldest Magician
Kami Winter: Wildebeest 3