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AHS Chicago cast and crew, from left: CJ Bryant, Julio Illingworth, Mathew Guevara, Isabella Gamez Rocha, Mireya Caballero, Sebastian Delgado, Shirley Magee, Chinatsu Uyemura, Midori King, and Allie Morales.
The Alhambra High School Thespian Society captivated audiences with a high energy and entertaining jazz musical performance of Chicago, High School Edition April 19, 20, 25, and 26. Students, teachers, parents, and volunteers came together to showcase another incredible theater performance this year. Based on the adaptation 1975 award-winning Broadway musical, Chicago, the play was revised with the collaboration of Samuel French and iTheatrics to accommodate high school performers and audiences.
The production stage was set in the city of Chicago in the year 1920 with the storyline about fame, fortune, and acquittal. Rachel Snow-Fornari, theater arts director, led a production team that included Music Director Sam Chen, Choreographer Tess Johnson, and Technical Consultant Brian Cole. Supportive parent volunteers included Nanette Hermosillo, who provided hair and makeup for the performers, and Vicky Snow. All assisted in organizing this production. “The kids worked so hard to exceed the expectations of high school theater,” Ms. Snow-Fornari said. “The facilities and equipment used are outdated, and they do not have the opportunity to practice with updated technology and equipment, but they still strive to do their best.”
Students do not just learn to coordinate, organize, acquire hands-on experience with theater equipment, but also develop self-confidence and build social skills. “We all helped put together the set from the jail bars, court rooms, and slide pole,” said Thomas Keenan, president of the Thespian Society. “Students worked together in building the set and created new things by recycling old props and materials.”
Mireya “Mimi” Caballero played Roxie Hart. She has been in theater since her freshman year. “I am so happy and overwhelmed,” she said. “No matter how much time of practicing or rehearsing spent, it is an amazing feeling, especially after all the hard work finally pays off, when you see everyone enjoys it.”
Senior Matthew Guevarra, who played Amos Hart, describes his character as an optimistic but a downer because he lacks self-confidence. “To prepare for my character, I had to learn to understand Amos’ emotions,” he said. “I took advice from my fellow cast mates and instructors to mentally prepare myself.”
Moving from Monterey, Mexico, this school year, student Isabella Gamez played the lead role of Velma Kelly. “Being in the Thespian Society has helped me pursue my dreams in theater,” she said. “I really want to do this as a career.”
Renee Ruiz-Hermosillo, senior, dance co-captain who played one of the merry murderesses, explained the difficulties behind the scene: “Coordination was fun yet tedious at times because we have to make sure that everything from lighting, sound, costumes, hair, makeup, are prepared and working, then fix anything that is wrong. It was an honor to work with the cast.”
Very well attended and supported by students, parents, and the community, the play was a success with a grand opening and beautiful closing on the first and last days of the performances.
With continual support from the AHS Theater Boosters, the students are able to receive the best educational theater experience from the donations received and funds raised.
The AHS Thespian Society is seeking any type of donations to enrich their theatrical education and to fund for equipment, such as wireless headset microphones, costumes, materials, and supplies.