• Isa, MoonAmie's Intern

Updated: Sep 17, 2018

It’s been 1 month since MoonAmie’s Hunchback of Notre Dame closed, and even still, I can’t help but think of this show every single day. Back in May, when we were all sitting in one giant circle for our very first read through, there was not a dry eye in the room by the time we had finished reading the finale. I don’t think anyone in that space knew how special the next 3 months would be.

There was an overwhelming excitement when MoonAmie announced The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. Students spent months talking about the show, and it's script, and it's soundtrack - everything. So many people had dreamed of doing the show, and couldn’t believe that they had the opportunity to do it with their MoonAmie Family. It felt like auditions couldn’t come soon enough, but they finally did in April. At the very end of Callbacks, the group of people who would become MoonAmie’s cast of “Hunchback” gathered around the piano to sing the first song in the show, “Olim.” Voices filled the room, as though they were blessing the walls and the floor and ceiling. Magic was created in that moment. Right then and there was a feeling that this show would be different than every other show MoonAmie had ever done. Every one sensed it, no one new quite why, but it was there.

It would only grow from there, as the cast took on the challenge of conquering the show physically and emotionally. The score took much training in order to fully master, as did the many dances that elevated the story telling. Each actor in the show faced their own challenge that came with their character. The cast as a whole would have to face the heart wrenching finale, as we discovered how to best tell the ending to such a beautiful story.

This was an entirely new experience for many because it was the first tragedy MoonAmie had produced. Don’t get me wrong, the story is gorgeous from beginning to end. It made you smile and laugh, but it also most definitely made you cry. I can say without a doubt in my mind that my two favorite moments of the entire rehearsal process for Hunchback of Notre Dame happened after our first full run through of the show, and the second after our final performance. Both were similar moments, but filled with different emotions.

Right after we sang the very last note of the show after the first run through, there was a pause and a breath of relief. Immediately after, with tears still flowing from our eyes, every single person in that cast began to give each other hugs. We all felt so proud of the show we created. We also all felt so much love for the people around, with whom we were able to create magic. Once again, everyone in the room could feel how special the show was. Now it was becoming more and more clear that this show would impact our lives unlike any other.

The second of my favorite moments took place right as the curtain fell for the very last time during our closing show. Even before the curtain completely closed, everyone started hugging each other. Everyone was crying and crying - people who we had never seen cry were crying (boom - exposed). Just like the first time, there was so much love in that space. We were all so proud of the show we spent the last 3 months working on as it was all coming to an end. This was the very last time any of us would be performing the Hunchback of Notre Dame with each other, at MoonAmie, in the Olympia Theater. After months of spending every single moment with each other, we couldn’t bear to separate. It was heart wrenching to have to leave behind the show that we had come to love with all our hearts.

Now, over an entire month later, the cast is still thinking about memories we made during the show. We are all anxiously awaiting the next time we get to spend hours and hours together every day in rehearsal: Newsies. But that isn’t until spring time... so I guess for now we’ll continue reminiscing on the past, and preparing for the future!

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  • Isa, MoonAmie's Intern

Updated: Apr 19, 2018

After 5+ months, my time as a Wildcat has finally come to an end, but in the words of Troy Bolton “Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat,” right? So here is what my experience as a Wildcat has been these past few months. The anticipation going into High School Musical was unlike any other show at MoonAmie because this was the story that my generation grew up with, dreaming about what high school life would be like in the years far ahead of us. For some of us, the movie was even our first experience watching any musical, filled with exciting dance numbers and a perfectly dramatic storyline, sprinkled with the most iconic lines. Having the opportunity to bring this story to life was one of the most surreal experiences of my life, and I think the same goes for the rest of the cast.

What made my time with High School Musical even more special was the people I was with. I strongly believe that this cast is the best group of people to ever tell this story because we had something very valuable to offer the storytelling: our own experiences. High School Musical is without a doubt one of the most relatable shows produced by MoonAmie because we are at the same point in our lives as the characters. We are high school students, juggling our classes with what we love to do while also thinking about the people we love, whether thats our family or our significant others. We know these characters’ stories because we’ve lived them and thats what has made the way we’ve told the story of High School Musical so significant, because it’s real. What’s also real is the love that every single member of our cast has for each other. MoonAmie is not only a conservatory, but a family, and that is made clear with this cast. Because we have all spent countless days with each other for almost half of an entire year we have created indescribably strong bonds with each other. We all know every detail about each other, everyones likes and dislikes; their favorite music, foods, colors, everything. That has also brought our storytelling of High School Musical to a whole new level, because not only do we know the lines, the choreography, or the music, but we know each other, and we know that whether we’re in the black box rehearsing, or up on stage performing, “We’re All in this Together”.

The cherry on top is, of course, how we were able to tell the story: with a genius vision and direction to guide us, the most mind-blowing dance moves to show off, and the fiercest vocals imaginable (not to mention the insanely talented rock band to accompany us). High School Musical featured the most dance numbers that MoonAmie has ever had in a single musical and every single dance move, without fail, made audiences’ jaws drop. My personal favorite dance number is when the cast of High School Musical went out into the audience during “Breaking Free,” dancing in the aisles as our band had music, and energy, bouncing off the walls, while spotlights lit up the stunning Olympia Theater. Throughout all of these scenes, the entire cast was decked out in the cutest fashion trends of 2018 - because even though the High School Musical movie featured classic 2000s fashion, MoonAmie’s take on the story set it in modern times, only 10 years later. On that note, MoonAmie’s set portrayed East High School as one of the coolest (and most purple) high schools I have ever seen in my life! To top it all off, the iconic scenes we’re beautifully reimagined to tell the story in an original way, while still maintaining what audiences know and love from the movie.

At this point in time it has only been 72 hours since MoonAmie’s High School Musical closed, and I, along with the rest of the cast, have absolutely no idea what to do with ourselves now that we don’t have rehearsal and have gone more than two days without seeing each other! So now that High School Musical is over, I think it’s time we start counting down the days until MoonAmie’s next show:

t-minus 8 days until auditions for Hunchback of Notre Dame...

Question of the Post: What is your favorite scene from High School Musical?

what team? WILDCATS!

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  • MoonAmie Productions

Since the beginning, MoonAmie Productions has been nothing short of astonishing. This has been very clear since June 4th, 2014, the day MoonAmie opened the doors of what would become a home for so many young performers, who would all become one family. From that day, MoonAmie has been guiding performers who not only know how to act, dance, and sing, but who also know how to be kind, respectful human beings who know that they are a part of something greater: creating art.

So what makes MoonAmie’s 2017-2018 season so special? This starts in the day to day setting at MoonAmie. This year is filled with more group lessons than ever, in acting, dance, and voice. This allows MoonAmie’s young performers to collaborate with each other on a weekly basis, learning from their teachers as a group, and also learning from each other. Part of what makes the fine arts so remarkable is that every artist can be constantly learning something new from their peers. More specifically, part of what makes theatre so remarkable is that it requires a team to tell a story, through word, dance, and music. In addition to conditioning themselves as performers, through lessons, students are preparing themselves for upcoming auditions at MoonAmie so that they can be a part of sharing stories that are waiting to be told to audiences at Olympia Theatre.

MoonAmie is kicking off their 2017-2018 season with the stage adaption of the 2000s classic Disney Channel Original Movie, High School Musical! This movie was iconic for the generation that is now grown up and in high school, just like the characters in High School Musical, which is part of what makes this show so special. Students at MoonAmie have an opportunity to audition for the characters that they grew up with, and who gave them their first glance into what life would be like as a high schooler. They have a chance to tell the story to audiences that they would look forward to watching whenever it was on TV when they were growing up. The other reason that this show is so special is because it’s with MoonAmie, which means that audiences can expect nothing less than fierce choreography, top notch vocals, and a fresh, new, spectacular take on the story that so many know and love.

MoonAmie’s summer show will be unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a story that has been told time and time again in different ways, however none compare to the power that the musical has to truly move audiences, and convey such a beautiful message in an equally beautiful way. The show explores huge themes and concepts such as good vs evil, injustice, choosing love over fear, and “what makes a monster and what makes a man,” to name a few. This will challenge the actors in ways that they have never been challenged before. Accompanying the story is a breathtaking score which will also challenge performers vocally and physically, as they grow as singers and dancers while they are learning the musical masterpiece that is the score of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, along with what is sure to be stunning choreography that will bring the show to a whole new level because of the important role that dance plays in the story line, and the dynamic it creates between characters in the show. As all of this comes together along with the technical details of the production, the show will put audiences in complete awe from the minute the lights in the Olympia Theatre dim, up to the moment the curtain closes at the very end of the evening.

MoonAmie has so much in store for the 2017-2018 season, and looking into the year it promises to be the most amazing year yet. However, throughout all the big things that we have to look forward to this year, some of the best moments this year are sure to come from the little moments. MoonAmie is one big family full of people who are excited about being together and creating art. From that excitement there are small moments that are so full of happiness, smiles, and laughter, that those moments are purely joy and only that, because there is too much joy for there to be room for anything other than bliss. Those countless little moments add up and fill everyone’s days at MoonAmie, and an endless amount of moments are waiting to fill all of the days MoonAmie has this upcoming year. It is all of our joyful moments that make not only MoonAmie’s 2017-2018 season incredibly special, but MoonAmie Productions and our big happy family the most special, most astonishing thing anyone could ever hope to have in their entire life.

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