Junior Maggie Bullington and Freshman Jessica Friberg sing about marriage performing “Guys and Dolls”. Bullington choreographed all the dance numbers for the hit musical.

First musical sold out; choreographed by junior

The “sinner gamblers” in GPA's production of "Guys and Dolls" line up, played by Sophomore Trey Garcia, Juniors Matthew Chapman, Will Pinon and Freshman Carson Pinon.
The “sinner gamblers” in GPA’s production of “Guys and Dolls” line up, played by Sophomore Trey Garcia, Juniors Matthew Chapman, Will Pinon and Freshman Carson Pinon.

On April 29th and 30th, our drama team, Directed by Marsha Bryan, drama teacher, broke ground by performing GPA’s first ever musical; complete with singing and dancing, a cast the size of Texas.
“Guys and Dolls” was successful enough to fill every seat in the auditorium on both nights.
“It is the first musical at this school and it involves a lot more work, but it is also perhaps more rewarding because of that,” said Freshman actor Carson Pinon, who has performed in many shows.
The musical featured Junior Maggie Bullington who expertly choreographed every musical number in “Guys and Dolls” as Adelaide, Will Pinon as Nathan Detroit, Matthew Chapman as Sky Masterson, and Jessica Friberg.
“I have loved choreographing for a long time, and Mrs. Bryan told me months ago that she wanted to do a musical, and asked if I would choreograph it,” said Bullington. “She said she was thinking about ‘Guys and Dolls’ so I went home right away and watched it to get ideas. I loved it!”
Due to TAPPS contests, the class started working on it officially in February, so did the whole thing in a month and a half.
“The night before, we were panicking, but we pulled it together in front of the crowd,” said Bullington.
The production was so big, that students who were not a part of the drama team as well as Junior High students were invited to try out for the play.
“It’s definitely intimidating being with older kids, but they do teach us a lot just by observing them. They really have fun with what they are doing, so it’s really cool to learn from them,” said 7th grader Conner Occkiogrosso who played Liver-Lips Louie in the play.
“We went to school late Friday night building the back drop for the set, we painted it, built the furniture, and got costumes together. It’s the most costuming we’ve ever done for a legitimate dance number, ,” said Senior Addie Meier. “The singing has been the hardest, but we have Mr. Hastings, a vocal coach who came to teach a group of teenagers who can’t carry a tune in a bullet-proof bucket to sound like the Vienna Choir.”
Singing isn’t something most of the cast thought they could do.
“I had no idea I could sing,” said Junior Matthew Chapman, who was shocked to know he’d won a lead singing part in the musical, having never sung before. “The vocal coach really helped me learn how to open my voice up.”
Knowing how to balance regular school activities such as homework and athletics with preparing for the performance is vital for these students.
“Preparing for a performance includes memorizing lines at home, learning blocking for a scene, then doing it over and over and over again,” said Pinon. “We then begin adding in lights, sounds, costumes, and make up, all just in time for the show.”
Acting is intended to be a laid back, fun experience, so Drama participants share many laughs with each other and have many hilarious stories to tell.
Director, Marsha Bryan is the reason for all of it, and comes to GPA with 34 years of experience and she knew how to pull it together.
“We have a lot of talent for a musical, and we never even knew it,” said Bryan.
The show also has a purpose, to teach a positive moral to its audience through its many stories inspired by the works of author Damon Runyon.
“What I love about Guys and Dolls is the message of salvation,” said Mrs. Bryan. “The music is so catchy that some people consider it to be the perfect musical!”

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