So What’s the Spring Musical?

Sophia Hammond 23', Author

With us all returning from winter break, the Westtown community is now undoubtedly awaiting the transition into the spring season and the soggy, colorless Pennsylvania winter to be behind us. The closing season at Westtown not only brings about the colors of replenished nature and the warm breeze on South Lawn but also the year-long anticipated (at least for arts kids like myself) school musical. 


If you recall, back in early November, Teacher Alex Ates (Pre-K-12th grade Performing Arts Director) announced to the Upper school that the musical this year would not be a traditional production, but rather, a musical revue. As described in his email, a musical revue is a collection of musical numbers handpicked from a variety of shows and performed one after the other. The theater performing a revue will often write scenes in between songs to better connect and communicate the running themes of these chosen numbers. 


Many Westonians may be wondering what the advantages are of doing a revue and what exactly to expect come opening night. In response to a question asking about these advantages, Teacher Alex Ates said, “Revues provide students with an opportunity to get exposed to a lot of different musicals,” explaining how students not only get exposed to the classical productions but also “to a diverse array of composers and lyricists.” 


He goes on to comment that – as American musicals have traditionally centered the white, cis-gendered principal role –  “a revue allows you to undo all that and say that we’re not subscribing to this narrative of what a lead looks like; you can have so many people in the spotlight.” Additionally, for students who want to pursue theater school, Teacher Alex stressed the importance of being experienced with this style of musical as revues are a common practice in many competitive theater programs. 


Whether you are a diehard Broadway fan or are completely unfamiliar with musical theater, this  Spring revue will undoubtedly be a showcase of students’ and faculty’s hard work, talent, and courage. Although no student is required to attend the show come May, Teacher Alex’s words may be a source of motivation: “I would challenge anyone to go to a musical and not experience some level of joy.”