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Lessons and All That Jazz

A hometown feel, a water tower, brick sidewalks, parades, fairs, and "All that Jazz." Home of the Madison Warhawks, Vienna is an average town with a metropolitan air. Madison has gone through many transformations in the past four years. We have been in renovation mode since 1996. The senior class has gone through three principals as well as three different drama directors. Even with all of these changes, the drama department is as strong as ever. As with any group, we are a tight-knit knot of teenagers with a common goal: to entertain audiences and one another.

In class, we study the history of theater, complete critiques and script analyses, work on monologues and scenes, design sets, hang lights, and come up with creative design ideas. Refining one's skill as an actor or a tech takes time ā€” time for practice. However, we don't just learn about the "art of theater" day in and day out. We learn about life; we learn about culture; we learn about human emotion; we learn about the world; we learn to connect to the rest of mankind.

Mad Drama unifies a menagerie of students who otherwise never would have gotten to know each other. We are a family in every sense of the word. We are there for each other, we have fun together, we practically live under the same roof when opening night is approaching, and we genuinely care about each other. For some, Madison Drama is the only reason they wake up in the morning. For others, it's an outlet from everyday trifles, and sometimes it's just one of the many things our students are a part of. Most drama students are involved in many other activities ranging from SADD to Swing Club. One meets new people during every show, especially musicals.

Our upcoming musical "Chicago," directed by Natalie Vandever, will be a showcase of our school's plethora of talent, onstage and backstage. Set in vaudeville and focused on the scandalous lives of Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, "Chicago" allows the drama students at Madison to try something brand new; a Bob Fosse show. Most high schools choose upbeat, "cotton candy," fresh-faced shows with large chorus numbers in every other scene. Madison is taking a risk with a dark, comedic, and sultry show. Powerful, in-your-face musical numbers that make a person think are scattered throughout the musical. America took a giant step in a different direction during the time frame of "Chicago;" no one had any more "class," and everyone would put on the old "razzle dazzle" to get out of trouble. Chicago mirrors today's society while shedding a new light on greed, betrayal, passion, and "All that Jazz."

To support Madison Drama, attend our presentation of "Chicago" May 1-3. Tickets go on sale mid-April.