Bye Bye Birdie Auditions Set for Next Week


Abby Wittler, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Bye Bye Birdie will be this year’s NDA musical. Set in 195, it is said to be “a classic and uplifting musical,” according to Mrs. Andrea Gilson, English teacher and musical director..

Auditions will be Monday, Oct. 15, from 3:30-5:30 and Tuesday, October 16, from 6-8 p.m.

The cast will be around 40 students, a contrast to last year’s small cast. There will be many lead roles and speaking parts for students who want to participate.

“I want the show to be bright and vibrant and to depict the late 1950s,” explained Gilson about her vision for the show.

The cast is going to need to display their best theatrics to match the original musical, and many set changes will add to the overall effect.

If anyone wants to be involved but not on the stage, there is an opportunity to work on stage crew, hair, and makeup.

Gilson mentioned that her favorite part of directing the musical is “working with talented students and seeing them strive both personally and professionally.”

Her biggest challenge is making sure all of the pieces fit together smoothly along with all of the musical numbers.

Gilson stressed how much the practices and performances take on a life of their own and how she is  “always sad when the musical is done because the cast, crew, and pit becomes a family to everyone involved.”

The team putting on the show is the same as last year with Mrs. Chris Salerno serving as musical director and Mrs. Kim Flinchum as the choreographer.

“They are incredible and I love working with them,” said Gilson.

Growing up, Gilson was involved in plays and musicals and has always dreamed of directing. She feels honored to be in this position and to be directing her fourth musical.

Her favorite musical that she participated in was Bye Bye Birdie when she was a sophomore at NDA.

The role that she liked the most was Raggedy Ann in Raggedy Ann and Andy at the Next Door Theatre.

Her first role onstage was playing an angel in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. She caught the “theater bug” from this production and never wanted to stop.

She said, “I was never athletic and theater granted me the ability to utilize my creativity and work collaboratively in a group.  I cannot emphasize enough how much theater has shaped me and countless others who participate in it.”