What is the show size this year and how many students will audition?
The staging of Aida is a huge undertaking, starting with the assembly of a large, multi-talented ensemble cast. Here’s the breakdown:
Total cast size: 30-40.
Speaking or soloist parts: eight principal roles
Chorus: The number will depend on two things: talent and balance. Ultimately, we can’t have forty-six sopranos and two tenors!
Number of students expected to audition: 100+
How are cast selections made?
Casting the show is the complicated and agonizing job of the show’s director, with multiple variables at play and endless permutations and combinations to consider. Ultimately, the prime directive of casting is to craft the best show possible and help each student shine. That said, the biggest determining factor in casting is goodness-of-fit between student and role in service of the overall production.
How much time do cast members put in?
Students playing Aida, Radames, Mereb, Amneris, and Zoser will rehearse four or five days per week. Chorus members should expect three to four days a week until the last two weeks, when rehearsal time goes up as opening night approaches.
What about schoolwork and grades?
Chorus members WILL have enough downtime to finish schoolwork. Involvement in theatre is a real balancing act but as a rule does not get in the way of keeping up grades. Moreover, the ERHS theatre program maintains this philosophy: School and grades come first. Period.
How come there’s an activity fee for students participating in crew, tech, and orchestra?
ERHS offers a student-centered comprehensive educational theatre program, a rarity among high school theatre programs. This means students are integrally involved, from start to finish, in the building and staging of an entire high quality theatrical production. Acting is just one part of that process. Students also build the sets. Sew and repair the costumes. Apply makeup and create hairstyles. Work the lighting and sound equipment. Supply the musical score. To be successful in each of these specialized areas, students work closely with talented staff members who serve as supervisors, instructors, and mentors. Hence, every stage of show development, every aspect of production demands significant adult time and attention. In this way, the ERHS theatre program offers a unique skill-building mentorship experience to its student participants. Which makes theatre—even for those who are not in the cast—a student enrichment activity like any other offered at ERHS.