Behind the Scenes at Chicago


Photo courtesy Mia Bella Chavez

The talented cast of Prep’s production of Chicago is having its last stretch of rehearsals beginning on Monday, February 25! Since December 4th of last year, they have been working very hard to rehearse and perfect every moment of the show. The musical is directed by Mr. Lewis and choreographed by Ms. Mattei and Ms. Mercante. Additionally, Mr. Hill is the vocal director, Bill Schmidt is the accompanist, and Danté Carr is in charge of the set and technical design.

It’s no question that Prep’s musicals and plays turn out to be great productions. But what exactly happens behind the scenes and during rehearsals? To find out, I asked some of Chicago’s cast members about their experiences in the show and what the average after-school rehearsal is like.

“A typical rehearsal starts off with everyone circling-up on stage, warming up, and getting ready to work,” says Kyla Kikkawa ‘19, who plays Velma in Chicago. “In the next couple hours, we either go through dance numbers or work through the show.”

During a standard, roughly two-hour long rehearsal, the cast will usually work on either vocal elements or choreography the entire time.

“Mr. Hill and Bill are so cheerful and fun to work with,” Annie Lee ‘23 says, describing a rehearsal in which vocal work is the main focus.

Even though a lot of hard work takes place during rehearsals, they’re still a great place for fun to be had, friends to be found, and memories to be made. Olivia Pigram ‘23, just like many other cast members, has made some of her best Prep memories while rehearsing for the musical. Pigram, like Lee, is an ensemble member.

“Some of the best moments happen backstage and in rehearsals,” Pigram says. “[The musical] is one of the most amazing experiences you will have at Prep.”

Kikkawa has also made many great memories by participating in the musical. “All the faculty truly put their hearts into the show, and it’s an amazing way to make friends from all different grades,” she says. “Being in the musical has greatly affected my high school experience— for the better!”

“Being the younger people in the cast, the upperclassmen really take care of you.” says Lee. “The musical is like a big family.”

When asked about what advice they had for students auditioning for next year’s musical, the cast members had several thoughtful things to say.

“Do it!” says Kikkawa. “Even auditioning is a huge accomplishment; it takes an incredible amount of courage to put yourself out there. If it’s something you’ve wanted to try or love to do, you should definitely go for it.”

“Be the best that you can be in your audition, [and] don’t be shy,” says Sabrina Bahadosingh ‘23. “Remember to be yourself!”

“Don’t be afraid to go all-out,” says Pigram. “The musical is a big commitment, but it’s definitely worth it.”

See Chicago in Norris Auditorium on February 28th, March 1st, March 8th, and March 9th!