Centennial High School presents Matilda as the spring musical!

Art By: Melody Lou and Leah Ankutse

Art By: Melody Lou and Leah Ankutse

Centennial High School’s 2023 Spring musical is Matilda! The cast and crew are preparing for the big opening night and the show is really coming together—but what is Matilda really about, and how has Centennial’s students and staff made it their own? 

The award winning musical follows a precocious young girl, Matilda, as she navigates a troubled home life and explores a new world that is opening up for her. She meets friends, mentors, and enemies along the way as she learns about the true meaning of family. This spring, Centennial’s theater department will bring this little girl’s story to life, along with all of the heart, humor, and life lessons that accompany it. Matilda is a meaningful and funny musical that will bring audiences from laughter to tears.

The play is particularly meaningful to the theater department since it was originally planned to be the spring musical in 2020. Theater director Jacob Traver explains, “I chose Matilda mainly because I think that is a really fun story and a really engaging story. It’s also a musical I’ve wanted to work on for a very long time, and almost was the musical I directed my first year here but other schools were doing it. So the timing just fits this year.” 

Traver also hopes that the audience will be able to connect with the characters in the play.  He goes on to say that “the show features a lot of quirky characters that people will latch onto, whether it is the character of Matilda or the character of Trunchbull.” Mrs. Trunchbull is the villain in the show, but she is the kind of villain that you “love to hate,” according to Traver. Along with the silliness of the show, on a deeper level Traver believes that “it is a story about standing up to bullies, standing up for what’s right, and understanding that you have a lot of agency in your world and you can make a difference.” He continues to add that it is a story about choosing your family and he believes that to be a cool concept. 

So how does the cast feel about Matilda? Maddie Hall, a sophomore at Centennial, is very enthusiastic to play the role of Matilda Wormwood, stating that “it is very exciting, I have never gotten a role anywhere as big as this. I get a lot of interaction with the cast and it’s a really good group of people.” Since she is called for almost all of rehearsals, Hall has made a lot of connections with the cast and crew. She is also very excited for the audience to see and hear the song “Revolting Children” which is a big moment in the show. 

High school performances all have a different take on whatever musical they are performing. Some things need to be changed, added, or switched around.  Mr. Traver explains that the biggest thing Centennial’s cast is doing differently is that they are going for “a little bit more of a catch-all with certain set pieces.” This means that the cast is taking it more from the approach of what every person brings to different moments rather than being blown away by the set pieces alone. He adds,  “That requires some set pieces and iconic things but we are adapting how we are using them and making them work for us.” An important note Traver emphasized is that there will be swings included in a big number that he anticipates the audience as well as the cast will love! Another change the theater department has made this year is having student choreographers create multiple dance numbers, which is exciting for many of the cast members to work and learn with their peers.

It is important to hear all perspectives involved in a musical to get the full picture about the show and what happens behind the scenes for months before opening night. Senior Lilly McGee also shares her insight on the process as an Ensemble member, as well as playing the role of the doctor. “I think it is good that we are dedicating so much time to music. The blocking is coming together and I think that is something we will get better at as that goes on.” McGee believes that Matilda using her powers for the first time will be a big moment since the whole plot leads up to that moment. According to McGee, the song Loud” will be a fan favorite. 

Overall, the cast and crew are enjoying the rehearsal process, and are extremely excited to reveal their hard work this spring. The shows will run on March 16th, 17th, and 18th at 7:00 pm, as well as the 18th and 19th at 2:00 pm. Traver concludes, “I think that in general people should … want to come see the show because it does feature this kind of absurdist, bombastic energy that we haven’t quite had yet and that’s exciting.”


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