A memorable performance

The drama department’s cast and crew present their annual musical production alongside new additions to their ensemble


Kelsey Nunnenkamp

The musical’s cast members gather around the auditorium’s center stage to begin their performance. After spending weeks preparing they were reading now more than ever for their moment of showtime. “This was a really exciting experience getting to be in front of a crowd again,” sophomore Mars Zekpa said. “Having past experience performing in front of large crowds made it not really scary or nerve-racking. I was really just focused on getting to show everyone what we worked so hard on.”

Quinn Burton, Staff Reporter

Millard West theater students performed “Disney’s Descendants: the Musical” alongside the kids of Millard West’s very own teachers. From Nov. 4-7, spectators were seated around the school’s auditorium to view the modern twist on an old fairytale. 

Based on the popular Disney Channel Original Movie, “Disney’s Descendants: The Musical,” is a brand-new musical comedy featuring beloved characters and hit songs from the films. The troublemaking children of Disney’s classic villains Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar are back to cause trouble. 

This year’s musical is especially important to the students and faculty at Millard West because of the setback from last year’s musical due to the pandemic. Now, the theater program has the opportunity to bounce back and create one night for everybody to remember. 

“Last year was a difficult year because of the pandemic, so I wanted to choose something that was light and fluffy, yet also something that I knew everybody would enjoy,” drama director Brooke Phillips said. “I have two young daughters and they’re obsessed with the “Descendants” movies, so when I saw that the rights for the musical were out, I thought it would be the perfect fit.”

Without the help of Phillips and her dedicated students in the drama department, this year’s musical performance wouldn’t have been as special. Over the past few months, the students worked diligently to perfect the artistry of the musical itself. From every dance move to music lyric, these students made sure that they were proud of their finished product.  

To prepare for our performance we had rehearsals every day where we would run the show and stop occasionally for notes from our director,” sophomore Mars Zekpa said. “In the musical, I played the role of Cruella De Vil, and it was a lot of work playing her part but I think it turned out great.” 

Making sure this musical would be special was a top priority for the theater department, which is why they sought help from a different crowd. New faces were seen throughout the drama department as younger students joined the cast and crew for an extra push of help. Just over a dozen kids and young teens auditioned for a part in the production, with every one of them being a child of a teacher at Millard West. 

“I thought it would bring a youthfulness to the high school cast and help us remember why we’re doing a fun Disney show- it’s really for the kids,” Phillips said. “We’ve had a lot of success bringing kids in the past. It’s probably been four or five years since I’ve done a show that involved kids, so I thought this would be the perfect show to test the waters again.”

For the students and teachers who spent months working on their performance, it’s no surprise that they have taken in the amount of time and effort put into their production. However, after initially viewing the performance, many spectators look past the efforts that were put in behind the scenes. Many students not only performed on stage, but also took on the additional tasks of helping out with the crew behind stage. 

“I really enjoyed the technology aspect of the performance, which is why I chose to do light’s crew,” sophomore Devin Tran said. “I felt that getting to show off the musical from my point of view was really important towards creating a well-rounded production. This way I was able to show everyone what myself and others have worked so hard on.”