As the curtain rises from the stage, Jack Brinsmaid feels the traditional pre-show butterflies flap in his stomach just like countless times before. The sawdusty smell backstage is the same as it ever was, and the sight of familiar cast members soothes his nerves, frayed from weeks of preparation for the show. However, this show is different from all the others-his final Blessed Trinity Theatrical Alliance production, Pippin, has finally arrived.
Seniors Jack Brinsmaid, Evan Hussey, and Megan Hill, stars of the BT spring musical this year, are no strangers to the stressful process of preparing for a show. From the ten-minute plays to the fall one-act, each show includes a high-maintenance routine that begins before the show is even cast.
“Before the audition, I always buy the Broadway soundtrack so I can be familiar with the songs. I choose a character that I could see myself playing, and I audition for that role. Once the cast list comes out, Mr. Dodson hands out scripts and rehearsals begin,” said Evan Hussey, who earned his role as Leading Player in Pippin after four years of participation in the BT theater program, from Noises Off to Cats.
The spring musical includes a particular type of preparation called previews. During previews, the cast of the show tours several middle and elementary schools, including Holy Redeemer and Queen of Angels, and performs a few of the better-known songs to capture the kids’ attention. “Previews are super fun. I love talking to incoming students who are interested in theater. But those days are also the longest because we go from school to school all day and then come back to BT for a 3-4 hour rehearsal. We can’t walk by the end of the day!” said Megan.
Opening night of their swan song performance has left the seniors feeling sentimental, but equally grateful for the close friends they’ve made. “This is the end so it’s everything to us as seniors. The last show is always the hardest emotionally because you know it’s probably the last time you’ll ever be onstage with these people. BTTA is my family and I want this performance to reflect the bond we have,” Megan said.
Evan’s four BTTA years have not only left him more closely bonded with his fellow cast members than he could have imagined, but have also ignited a spark of passion for drama that will likely affect him for years to come. “I’ve been auditioning for colleges all over the east coast. I hope to go to either Fordham University or Marymount Manhattan College because both schools provide amazing opportunities during college and give their graduates amazing connections. After college, my dream is to either perform on Broadway or become a high school theater teacher,” he said.
Incoming BT freshmen may balk at the chance to get involved in such a large and well-developed program at first, but their initial worry shouldn’t take long to evaporate when they are introduced to the BT theater family. “I would recommend BTTA to incoming freshman because you meet amazing, wonderful, and accepting people that you will grow close to for all your life,” said Jack Brinsmaid.
Although their first-night jitters may have calmed down a bit last night, come out to the BT theater on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 to see Megan Hill as Catherine, Evan Hussey as Leading Player, and Jack Brinsmaid as the title character in BT’s spring musical, Pippin!