IVMS castmates connect in ‘Help! I’m Trapped in a Musical’

Indian Valley Middle School students were able to learn and grow with each other while performing a show inspired by famous Broadway musicals.



Lecturing on singing and dancing… Presenting the musical number “The Pythagorean Theorem” on the opening night of “Help! I’m Trapped in a Musical,” Indian Valley eighth graders Kendal Hoover (left) and Jessica Ulrich who played Norma LaBelle and Miss Hart, perform. The musical took place March 9-11.

Participating in a show that is a musical within a musical, Indian Valley Middle School students put on performances of “Help! I’m Trapped in a Musical” on March 9-11 at 7 p.m.

Musical director Diane Ramage described it as “a story within a story.” The musical is about a girl who moves to a new high school called Sondheim High School, named after Stephen Sondheim, a renowned Broadway composer and lyricist.

After moving there, she realizes that every class requires singing and dancing, which she does not understand. All of the songs from this musical are
parodies of other Broadway songs.

According to seventh-grader Preston Johnson, this is what makes the musical unique.

“There’s one called Circle of Food which is based off of Circle of Life,” Johnson said. All of the characters within the show are named after Broadway stars. “There’s a Kristin, for Kristin Chenoweth, and an Idina for Idina Menzel,” Ramage said.

Within the musical, several messages can be shared. “A message that it shared is to never be afraid to stand up for your own opinion, even if others don’t support it. Always do what you want to do,” eighth-grader Leah Callahan said.

According to Ramage, the musical encourages students to become what they want. “It encourages parents and students to talk to each other, and the fact that we need to allow students to develop into what they want to be,” Ramage said.

This can be seen in the final song, called “Let Me Be Me.” Johnson “really enjoys everything” about this year’s musical and he thinks getting to work with a bunch of people is a great amount of fun and could also help people to grow.

The cast involves 25 people this year and a crew of eight people. Cast members stressed the importance of supporting each
other throughout the musical.

“It is definitely important for us all to work together because if we didn’t the show wouldn’t go on, and it wouldn’t go as smoothly as it could go,” Callahan said.

Eighth-grader Emma Meyer, who played Sutton, described the cast as “really sweet and supportive.”

According to Meyer, it is important for the cast to rely on and trust one another. “It’s such a confidence boost to have a group of 24 people who are supporting you, making you feel good about what you’re doing,” seventh-grader Emerson Degeiso said.

Degeiso, who played Francine in the musical, said her favorite part about participating in the musical was the cast. “The cast is almost a make-or-break thing because they can play a huge part if they’re nice, friendly and welcoming,” Degeiso said.

As this was her first-ever musical, there were three things that Degeiso was the most excited about leading up to the show.

“I can’t wait to perform in front of my family and show them what I can do, ” Degeiso said. “I can’t wait for our hard work to pay off since we’ve spent dozens of hours on the musical.”

Degeiso also cannot wait for the applause. To Meyer, if people “leave with smiles on their faces,” then the musical has been successful.