‘Elf the Musical’; behind the curtain


Photo Courtesy of Kent McCormick

Megan Splan, Lifestyles Editor

As you enter the auditorium, the lights being adjusted, the yelling of lines going down, and the smell of paint hits your five senses all at once. The anticipation and nerves run through everyone’s stomach as the day of opening night creeps closer and closer. 

All of the hard work being poured into the musical has definitely shown through. All of the Cast, Crew, and Pit work hard for weeks until the big performance. After hours of running through different scenes, memorizing lines and different music notes. On top of creating and gathering all of the different props and set pieces, it all pulls together for the performances. 

Photo Courtesy of Kent McCormick

“The most stressful part is the week of the show,” said director Mr. Todd Meisch. “There are so many moving parts and details that need to be taken care of that it can be overwhelming.  Selling tickets, making sure costumes fit, building the set, painting the set, making sure everyone knows their lines, the blocking, etc…. It’s a lot! But the most enjoyable part of the process is every night The show goes on. Being able to watch the students’ hard work come to life is what makes all of this wonderful. Also, the reaction of the audience. Over the years, the audiences have seen what great productions Rochester High School puts on, and seeing our hard work come through the faces and the applause of the audience is very fulfilling.”

With the musical being stressful and everyone being very busy with completing their own tasks, it’s also one of the most enjoyable experiences some of these students have ever experienced. 

Photo Courtesy of Kent McCormick

“[I am going to miss] Just about everything!” said senior Adam Rivera, as Buddy, the lead. “This is my fourth year in the RATS program, and it’s where I developed a love for the performing arts as a whole. It’s basically where I grew up from a child on stage to a taller, louder child on stage. Honestly I have too many memories to count. It feels like every day, I’m making a new favorite memory with such a wacky, wonderful group of people.” 

The amount of hours and hard work poured into the set buildings and when crew come to help with everything that happens backstage, is incredibly admirable. 

Photo Courtesy of Kent McCormick

“The process for set building is a pretty simple process from an outside standpoint,” said junior Brennan Cesarz, head of crew. “Mr. Gollon gives a list of what needs to be done. We start the list by taking easier things that a big group of people can do, like painting, and set them off and then slowly give everyone jobs. It’s really repeated every time, but it can be kind of difficult, not knowing where to get stuff or exactly what needs to be done can hinder the process.”

Along with hard work and time put into building all of the set and fixing lights, and a lot of hard work was put into designing and sewing the costumes for everyone on stage. 

“A lot of processing and deciding what style of clothing would work for each scene as they’re all different,” said senior Joey Zeilman, head of costumes. “We decide to look at what the main characters are wearing and go from there. Making sure all other characters don’t stand out as much, but still make their costumes the best that they can be!” 

Photo Courtesy of Kent McCormick

Another group that you may not know but plays an important role is the sound crew. From dealing with microphones to adjusting the decimals on their sound packs, they help with everything. 

“It’s a lot of cables and patching microphones (both handheld and portable) and ADJUSTING!!!” said senior Michele Lleshi, sound crew. “We have to constantly adjust to make it sound smooth and clear and not too loud. The most stressful part is the actual performances, but that’s also easily the best part. I think that it can be a lot but it’s also fun when you have your stuff done and you get to see all of the friends you’ve made do their thing on stage and kill it with your help on mics.”