GRHS Theater presents 'Spamalot'

The theater can be many things, but one is a place of escape - somewhere to get away, to laugh, to have fun and to forget the troubles of life for at least a little bit. This escape is something the Green River High School theater department hopes to provide with their newest production, "Spamalot." 

"Monty Python's Spamalot" is a musical based on the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." GRHS Theater Director Bradlee Skinner said the musical follows the storyline of the film closely while adding music and incorporating elements from other Monty Python works. Like the film, the musical tells the story of King Arthur in a unique and comedic way. 

"We wanted to just do a fun, silly comedy this year," Skinner said. "We want people laughing and having a good time in theater. So we intentionally, just with the way the world is at the moment, avoided any dramas. We want people to come out to the theater and laugh, just to have fun even if it's silly. And this show definitely delivers in that department."

The cast, crew and directing team have been having a good time with the lighthearted and fun production, Skinner said.

He hopes that fun will extend to the audience - particularly since this show incorporates audience involvement as the characters frequently break the fourth wall and interact with audience members. 

Another unique aspect of this show is the large number of characters. Thirty high school and middle school students make up the cast and crew for the show, and most of the cast members have to play multiple parts. 

"One student might play four different characters throughout the story," Skinner said, explaining that some of the leads will only play one character, like King Arthur, but almost everyone else has multiple roles. The cast members will appear on stage throughout the story, just switching out their costumes and characters. While this adds an extra challenge, Skinner also believes the students have been having fun with it since the characters are so unique and silly.

In addition to playing multiple characters throughout the show, the cast members have had to learn and perform the many songs and choreography that come with producing a big musical. However, while still incorporating plenty of dance, "Spamalot" is a less technical show than many. 

"It's a little more lighthearted, a little more silliness, almost slapstick," Skinner said. "We wanted it to be more relaxed, more loosey-goosey, to bring out the comedy of the songs." 

Another challenge for the cast and crew has been putting on a full musical in a limited amount of time. Skinner explained they had two months from the first rehearsal to opening night, and "two months for a full show is really pretty quick."

Perhaps the biggest challenges of this production, however, has come from the newness of the majority of cast members. 

"We graduated a lot of seniors last year," Skinner explained. While there are a few seniors in this show who've been in other GRHS productions, most of the cast is made up of students who've only been in a few shows or who are on the stage at the high school for the first time. According to Skinner, this has been both one of the biggest challenges and one of the biggest blessings. 

"It's been really exciting to see some of our younger students have an opportunity to step up, to take some of those leadership roles, to be on stage in a larger capacity than they have before, and to really take advantage of those gaps that we have with losing our seniors," Skinner said. "We've seen a lot of great maturity from some of our younger performers that have taken on those challenges, especially with some of them that are playing three, four, five characters in this show. They're doing it because they have that opportunity to do so. So it's definitely been a challenge, but it's also been really exciting to see what some of these kids are bringing to the table, and they're showcasing that talent." 

"Spamalot" opens tonight at 7 p.m. and will have performances Nov. 12 and 15 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. In-person seats and a livestream of the show are both available for every performance. Tickets can be purchased online for $7 or at the door for $10. 


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