Thespians Are “All Together Now!”

Nov 12-15 students in Tigard and across the country will perform their first show of the year


Meileen Arroyo

Choir Director Robert Hawthorne leads a practice for the fall musical “All Together Now!” The show will be performed by 2,500 theater groups across the country from Nov. 12-15.

By Meileen Arroyo, staff writer

     After a full year of online school, members of the thespian club are ready to get back on stage and perform in this year’s fall show: All Together Now!”

     “All Together Now,” showcases a compilation of well-known songs from a selection of broadway shows like, “We’re All In This Together” from “High School Musical.”

     Tigard high’s new theatre director and diversity chair for Oregon Thespians Tori Scoles explained the underlying message of All Together Now!

     “The idea is that all the theater companies are doing this one show on this one weekend because we are all together now,” Scoles said. “Every song has a theme that’s based on the idea that we are coming out of [the pandemic] but we all need each other to do that.”

     According to the Music Theater International website there are over 2,500 theater companies across the US performing this show during the weekend of Nov. 12-15. 

     “All Together Now!is the first time our thespians will be performing on stage after a year and a half of Google Meet performances. Due to COVID restrictions, the directing process has been cut short. The time to organize and put together the show has been reduced from 10 weeks to six weeks. Rehearsal days are split, focusing on two different aspects of theater: music and acting. 

     Scoles explained how she had partnered with Choir Director Robert Hawthorne, who decided to forgo his fall choir concert.

     “Mr. Hawthorne is working with the choirs to learn some of the ensemble parts and then after school I keep a couple of students,” Scoles said. “Eventually, we’ll get through all of the songs and start putting the show together.”

     Along with the short time to direct the show, COVID has also put restrictions on school events and gatherings. It is still unknown whether the show will be virtual or live but Scoles has some ideas on how to work around this obstacle.

     “My hope is if we are letting people in, that it will be a pay what you can situation. If it’s something where we can’t have audience members, I’ve talked to some of the admin about maybe live streaming the show. How is that going to look? Will it be live streamed on a big screen in the football field? That is what we are working on right now.”

     Directing, acting, and vocal practice aren’t the only things that happen behind the scenes of a production. Freshman Kate Briggs, one of the stage managers talked about her role in backstage crew.

     “We have three stage managers. One of us is the manager for the stage, one of us is around the actors, and one of us is for tech,” Briggs said. “We take attendance and run around between the different areas people are rehearsing. Lots of times that means communicating with the costume department. ” 

     Trying out the stage was something many backstage crew members have been hesitant to make a reality. Senior Maria Castaneda-Cruz was once a part of tech and is now taking on the role of Milly in the song “Gimme Gimme,” woman 1 in “Stop the World,” and is sharing the role of Mary Poppins with junior Bobbi Chambers.

     Cruz shared their journey on the transition from tech to acting.  

     “I’d done choir and band before so performing in general wasn’t new,” Cruz said. “It was such a rush to suddenly think about where I am on stage, what my face is doing, what my body language is showing, and how different it is to convey it to a person speaking one-on-one then to an audience.” 

     Confidence is key in stage acting but nerves always set in right before opening night. Playing roles in “Writing Down The Story of My Life” and “Somewhere That’s Green,” senior Jay Reitmeier dives into her own feelings of nervousness. 

     “I know all my lines, I know all my blocking, and I know what’s going to happen and everyone else does too, but there’s just a deep layer of l haven’t done this in front of this many people before.”

     The cast of “All Together Now!” are excited to be on stage again after an absence from the theater this past year and a half. Playing Elsa in the song “Let it Go,” sophomore Kaylie Butkus, shares what she’s most excited about for this year’s musical.

     “This is my first time being on stage since quarantine and it’s been so long. I’m so excited to do this again, it’s my passion.” 

     Playing mother in “Back to Before,” Timon in “Why We Tell the Story,” Woman 2 in “New World,” and Mary Poppins, Bobbi Chambers shares what she is most looking forward to on opening night of “All Together Now!”

     “I’m just excited for people to come and see all the work that we put in and for us to just do the show. [It’s an] incredible feeling especially since COVID,” Chambers said. “I’m most excited for the whole community aspect of it.”

     The teacher behind the making of this show, Scoles shared a message to students.

“If you’re not interested in joining theater, at least come and be in the audience. I want to hear voices that are not traditionally thought of in the theater space. We need the young voices,” Scoles said. “I encourage everybody to show up and try it. Maybe you’ll like it and be surprised, maybe you won’t; and it’s okay.”

     Nov. 13 and 14 are the selected dates for opening night of “All Together Now.” Details about how to see the show will be announced next week.