Rundlett Middle School students prep ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’
Rachel Revellese and cast members rehearse a scene from Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Daniel Desmond (as Trevor Graydon) and Rachel Revellese (as Millie Dillmount) rehearse a scene from Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Grace Venator, Jack Ray and Noah Seidel rehearse a scene.
Anyone who enjoys lots of singing, lots of dancing, belly-laugh comedy and suspenseful intrigue is in luck.
The musical Thoroughly Modern Millie is all of this. Adapted for middle school students, the show runs today through Saturday at 7 p.m. at Concord’s Rundlett Middle School.
Director Clint Klose, a music teacher at Beaver Meadow School, said that the students have been working hard, rehearsing twice a week after school since the December auditions. The Performance Ensemble Group, or PEG, is made up of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.
“We have a great mix of students,” Klose said, “with veteran students who have done theater with us before, and new students who have not done any theater before, but decided to make Millie their first endeavor into the world of musical theater.”
Klose spoke highly of sixth-grader Rachel Revellese, who is in the lead role of Millie.
“She’s a great dancer, singer and actress,” he said. “She not only surprised everyone but is just doing a fabulous, fabulous job. It’s her first role at the middle school – a wonderful surprise all around.”
Dancing is a big part of this show, and the performers, many of whom study dance privately, are getting some special instruction.
“We’re fortunate to have a wonderful choreographer, Cristina White, who is a senior at UNH,” Klose said. “She’s taken the choreography to a completely different level for our group.”
White is also the choreographer with Klose’s theater company that performs during the summer at the Capitol Center for the Arts.
Klose, who has been directing plays at the middle school and high school for 10 years, said it is always a wonderful surprise that many students who are talented in different areas come together to put on a great show.
They all work together and learn from each other, he said.
The students not only gain confidence by doing this type of show, Klose said, but they also learn that more people than the actors are responsible for putting the entire show together.
“We have about 16 kids who are behind the scenes doing costumes, lighting, sounds, props and being stagehands,” he said.
The students themselves can be surprised, too.
“Kids at the middle school level – even at the high school level – sometimes don’t realize how good they are,” Klose said.
The best surprise, he said, is when they realize, usually during show week, that everything is coming together.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door.