Behind the scenes of “42nd Street”


Kurtis Spann

Backstage at Mt. Vernon Theatre’s “42nd Street”

Glitter, set pieces, tap dancing, oh my. That is one way to describe my experience as a cast member of “42nd Street.”

I walked into this show not really knowing what I was getting myself into. Even though I had spent the entire summer learning how to tap, I still had no clue what I was doing at auditions. No one ever really does. I just had to smile and fight through the nerves at auditions, but it was also a learning experience. All I could really do was prepare and hope for the best. I’ve had my fair share of rough auditions, but I am stronger because of them.

For freshman, the idea of auditioning often shakes them to their core.

“Looking back at it, the audition could have been better. I also didn’t have much time to prepare,” said Hailey Alton, 9, “but I am happy with the results since it was my first show,”

But no matter the audition or how bad it is the cast all survive in the end. I have had my fair share of auditions, and I have

On top of auditions, the stress of waiting for that phone call from the director is possibly the worst feeling in the world. The actor can either receive the best possible outcome or end up not getting the role they wanted. Musical theatre definitely requires a lot of patience. We all dream of the day we get that magical phone call regarding the lead role. I like to believe that with patience and hard work that the right role will find me. All it takes is time.

Aside from the build-up of casting, the work put towards the show is even more intense. The stress of trying to learning blocking, quick changes, and lines takes a lot of dedication. Even though I was just ensemble in this show, twelve costume changes, three different pairs of shoes, and nine dance numbers took a lot to get used to.

Coming from this, leads can be a lot to take on, but sometimes ensemble can be just as, or even more demanding. This was not the case with the leading lady of “42nd Street.” Peggy Sawyer was a triple threat role, and it required someone who can sing, act, dance. On top of all this, there is also quite an amount of costume changes for a role like Peggy. But Emily Thomas did it, and the stage was her’s.

“It was definitely a lot of work, but it was really rewarding. I feel like Peggy was a character I could relate to,” said Emily, 12. “There were times it was intimidating, but being on stage and playing that role has been the highlight of my senior year.”

Sadly, this is Emily’s last show with Mt. Vernon, but she ended strong.

“My heart is so full of love and joy after 42nd Street. I love being on stage, and performing is my favorite thing to do,” said Emily. “I am thankful I got to share what I love with such genuine people who love it as much as me. I love the cast so much.”

It was really hard to walk away from this show, but I have become a stronger singer, dancer, and actor because of my experiences with these people. No words can really express the wonders of performing. It is something that you have to really experience yourself. Interested in being part of the magic? Come audition for MV Theatre’s ‘“High School Musical” this January.