Behind the Scenes: Bright Star

A preview of what to expect from the North Polk musical production this May!

North Polk Musical Bright Star website

North Polk’s 2021 spring musical production, “Bright Star”

North Polk’s spring musical is just around the corner, with dress rehearsals taking place this week. Costumes have been shipped, and the cast have been preparing for months on end to deliver a fantastic performance. Musical director and choir teacher Tyler Harper has been working with the students morning and night in preparation for the musical’s performances this weekend. There are two casts that Harper has set to perform on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9.

“The musical is called Bright Star.  I chose it for a number of reasons…but mostly because it is an incredible story about hope, faith, and love.  Something that is sorely needed right now.  The music is different, beautiful, and deep,” Harper commented about the musical. “The story is dramatic, funny, dark, and shocking. After the goofy and fun Smokey Joe’s Cafe…this seemed like a great way to see what kind of acting chops our students have.”

The students had their auditions during the first week or so of January, and since then, they have been practicing almost every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Alongside the cast is stage manager Sydney Mast. Mast, who is a junior, was put in charge of all things behind the scenes, helping to get props where they need to go and people where they need to be.

“I have been attending practices for a couple weeks. I started joining the cast during practices after they memorized a majority of lines, and learned their music,” Mast said. “It was mostly due to the fact that I did not have much to do before they did that.” 

“As stage manager, I help to direct cast members around during scene changes, and make sure the correct props go out. I also do other miscellaneous tasks which may help the lead cast members, such as drawing out all the scene changes and which way they go on and off.”

Mast is not alone in helping with the preparation for Bright Star. North Polk’s musical theater and tech class has helped behind the scenes as well.

“They are awesome!” Harper exclaimed. “They build the sets and props, paint everything, set up the stage, move curtains, adjust lighting, set up the sound system, and do anything else that needs to be done.  They have done all of that while setting up and working 13 separate concerts!”

The overall production of Bright Star has had its obstacles and hardships, as we live in these unprecedented times.

“The kids have been awesome, but Covid-19 and all of the attached illness and quarantine has made preparation incredibly difficult,” Harper shared. “At one point in time, we had no leads left in the building. It’s hard to practice with no leads.”

Through the challenges and quarantines, the cast, crew, and all of the other people involved in putting together Bright Star have persevered.

The show is filled with emotional extremes,” Harper explained. “It will make you laugh and cry, scream in anger, and gasp in shock.” 

Mast gave a word to the audience, “Watch closely, don’t be scared to bring some tissues, laugh at the jokes and cheer loud at the end. Most importantly, follow covid guidelines and wear your mask correctly!”

As mentioned earlier, Bright Star will be coming to North Polk High School May 8 and May 9. Here is a link to the ticket website!