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To Sail or Sink?

Though the Titanic may have sunk over 100 years ago, it will be sailing once more at James Buchanan High School.

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To Sail or Sink?


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The school’s Drama Club will be performing the musical, Titanic that originally debuted on Broadway in 1997. The Broadway performance was nominated and then later came to win five Tony Awards, including “Best Musical” and “Best Score”.

 

“This is not the movie Titanic’. The musical Titanic is not going to feature a Jack or Rose,” Logan Williams (11) said. “It is going to be a more about the historical values of the Titanic. We are going to be portraying real characters that lived on the Titanic and have died.”

Nearly everyone in the cast is named and is based on a real person who sailed on the Titanic.

 

“I play Harold bride, wireless operator with Marconi International Marine Signal Communication Company, Limited,” Williams said.

 

Though knowing who their character really is may help, there can be some difficulties.

 

“The most challenging part of performing is trying to be this character that you’re not,” Williams said. “You have to set aside yourself and you have to put on this disguise, this facade, of someone else, and you have to be that person on stage.”

 

Sydney Jones
Thrilled to be on board, Logan Williams (11) and Allison Collings (11) point out seagulls on the RMS Titanic.

 

The Drama Club has changed course in the past couple of years.

 

“In the past with James Buchanan High School Drama Club, I’ve been in Is He Dead, ‘Jekyll and Hyde, and a couple of Cabarets,” Williams said.

 

This change in direction can be correlated with the change in directors. Mr. Luke Surgeon and Mrs. Kristin Zimmerman became the directors of the Drama Club in 2015.

 

“He [Luke] was actually in charge the year before that for Little Women that would have been three productions ago, four years ago,” Zimmerman said. “But then the year after that, I had the opportunity to be able to do this. I said, ‘How would you like an assistant?‘ He said, ‘I think that’ll work,’ and the rest is history.”

 

They have worked on two productions together, and have hosted some Cabarets as a fundraiser for the Drama Club, but haven’t attempted anything like this.

 

“The story is such an epic, tragic story that just is really interesting to a lot of people, so that should be at the big draw for us, which is good,” Zimmerman said.

 

The students have put in nearly as many hours a week as sports teams in the school.

 

“We get nine hours of practice a week, which is crazy for something like this,” Zimmerman said. “But I think a lot of prep work goes in on students behalf outside of rehearsal too. Clearly, people work on lines and songs, not in here, or else it would not work. So it’s important that people are prepared before they come in.”

 

The dedication needed for the cast and crew is what makes the show come together.

 

“It’s definitely an undertaking for three nights, and then it’s just over,” Zimmerman said.

 

Not only are emotions high for the ending of the performance, but remembering the tragedy they are performing is another dismal feature.

 

“Once you remember that these were real people, and that this really happened to these people, that’s like a whole other aspect of it to me,” Zimmerman said. “So it’s neat to act through something that’s real, which is new for us.”

 

The Titanic sets sail March 16, 17, and 18 at James Buchanan High School, with Williams, Zimmerman, and the rest of the cast and crew.

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Sydney Jones, Staff

Sydney Jones is a senior at James Buchanan High School. In addition to Student Media, she is involved in many activities throughout the school, including:...

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