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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Drama performs final play with ‘Miss Nelson’

    By Marleld Duran

    Staff Writer

    Last weekend, the Drama department performed “Miss Nelson is Missing,” their first musical and last play of the year. It was originally written as a children’s book by Harry Allard.

    The plot of the musical revolves around students who went looking for their missing teacher after dealing with an unexpected substitute.

    Joan Cushion, composer, adapted the book into a musical in 2003. Dr. Gene Murphy, past principal of Gabrielino High School, watched the show that year and Jan Gluskin, Drama advisor, had students perform it the following year.

    When the Drama department first performed the musical, it was written for four actors, but Gluskin adjusted to include 15 actors and 21 different roles. Since more roles were added, students were able to create their own characters identity through costumes and attitude.

    “This is definitely one of my favorite shows,” said Gluskin. “I loved that every actor was committed to their role and they were completely different from each other.”

    Unlike other musicals performed in the past, “Miss Nelson is Missing” required new and experienced actors to adjust to children’s theater. Certain scenes required the actors to interact with the audience.

    When casting, Gluskin looked for students that were enthusiastic and wanted to have fun. Social science teacher Shawn Peters made a special appearance as Pop Hanson, custodian.

    “I knew [the musical] was going to be good, but it was legitimately perfect,” said senior Nisa Alam, who played Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp, “each show got better.”

    According to Gluskin, performances often deal with a Saturday night curse where building up the energy was difficult after Friday’s shows. However, it was not present during this musical because of the actors were always ready to rehearse, dance, and sing.

    Choir Director, David Pitts, taught the music to the actors and organized the orchestra. Gluskin designed the set, while stagecraft built it.

    Seniors Sharenne Gozal, Yasmin Miranda, and Damon Shugart worked together to do the actors makeup. K-Pop Club members Lucy Ho and Wyut Htet, juniors, assisted Gluskin in creating the choreography.

    Auditions were held during the first week of March and rehearsals began the week after. Students ran through two dress rehearsals before their first live performance.

    Students from Roosevelt Elementary and Jefferson Middle School were invited to watch the musical last Friday.

    The Murphy Award ceremony will be held next month to honors actors from plays performed throughout this school year.

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    Drama performs final play with ‘Miss Nelson’