The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

The Student Site of Castilleja School

Counterpoint

Castilleja Theatre Department gets ready to open MS Musical ‘Matilda’

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Kalissa Huang
Middle school’s Matilda performance stage set in the Chapel theater

This year, the Middle School Theatre Department has chosen Matilda as its play for the year, and we’re all in for a treat.

“Make sure everything you do is completely unbelievable.” This quote, coming straight from the Matilda book itself is a clear representation of what’s soon to come from the MS Musical – an unbelievable performance.

When describing the play, answers were all over the place, but still wonderful – just like the play itself. Izzy Speiser ‘28, who plays Ms. Trunchbull, described the play’s over-the-top and rambunctious musical numbers as “just a little bit chaotic”.

Mr. Sussman, who will direct a play for the first time at Castilleja this year, said “Matilda is about a brilliant young girl surrounded by horrible adults, who learns to trust herself and find a chosen family that supports her.”

Kylie Dang ‘28, who plays Matilda, said she’d describe the musical in 2 words: “whimsical and funny.” Dang also mentioned the setting being in a school, and how interesting it is that the sets are still so vibrant despite being in only one area.

“It’s a lot of hard work for a really brilliant product,” said Kai Doorley, ‘29, the production’s Ms. Honey.

On the topic of hard work, Doorley also elaborated on the time spent during rehearsals, recounting that, “It’s been a lot of time, it’s been really difficult running through everything.”

Doorley explained that since the play is currently in tech week, the play is finally taking form. Doorley said they’re extremely excited for the results to soon be shared.

“We’ve been working since November, and it’s been really fun,” Dang said.

Though it’s Mr. Sussman’s first year directing a musical at Castilleja, all cast members echoed the sentiment that he is an incredible director, creating a laid-back yet productive environment.

Doorley shared that he was, “a really good director for the musical.” Sussman said that though he’s directed plays before outside of Castilleja, this is his first musical, and his first time directing a show with so many cast members: “There’s 45 performers,” he said. “Wow.”

Sussman described the experience of getting to direct this play as an honor, sharing that it’s been “really wonderful,” and that he was “blown away” watching previous MS Musicals.

The musical version of Matilda keeps some of the elements of the original book and movie but adds on imaginative dance numbers and songs.

“When I first encountered the musical, I was surprised to see it was actually very dark,” said Sussman. “We have a number of fun songs and really fun dances that add to the joy while still maintaining the darkness of the original movie.”

The school brought in outside choreographers to help with the dance scenes. Speiser said the dance lessons were a highlight of rehearsals for her.

Cast members each had different opinions on the “best” scene in the musical. Dang shared her love for the dance number ‘Revolting Children,’ saying there’s a lot of cool lighting and synchronized dancing. This love for dance numbers was echoed by Doorley, who said their favorite scene was the first song of the show, “Miracle.”

Speiser went in a different direction, saying she loves the scene where she gets to “throw Amanda Thripp by her hair.” Sussman shared his love for scenes with the 3 main characters in them, explaining how they are all strong female characters who essentially face off in their scenes together.

He also expressed his secret enjoyment of one of the final scenes, where the students play Bulgarian Mobsters, and said it was fun to see scenes where the ensembles can truly bloom.

Whether you’re watching the show for the plot, acting, or singing, it’s clear to see that this will be a musical that will go down in Castilleja history, packed with musical numbers and pure talent in the leads and directing.

“Matilda” is scheduled to run Friday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. at the Chapel. Tickets are $15 — for more info, email [email protected]. Come watch Matilda, it’s not a story to miss.

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About the Contributors
Deeksha Venkat, Staff Writer
Deeksha Venkat '27 is a staff writer for Counterpoint. New to Counterpoint and journalism, she is eager to delve deeper into these interests. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading romcoms, watching TV, and scrolling on Pinterest.
Kalissa Huang, Photographer
Kalissa Huang ‘27 is a photographer for Counterpoint. She is currently a freshman, and enjoys baking, playing sports, playing the cello and, of course, taking photos!

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