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TEENS SUCCEED:

MUSICAL THEATER By Amelia Herlong


Overview

This assignment was to take images of teens succeeding in activities besides their classroom duties. I chose to focus on musical theater, which consists of singing, acting, and dancing. Throughout this project, you will see a focus on one student in particular – Josephine “Josie” Herlong. She graduated Wachusett Regional High School as of June 8th and plans on going to Nazareth College in the fall to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater. In addition to taking music classes like chorus in school, she has pursued acting and dancing outside of school both in the afternoons and during the summer since she was three years old. She has been in over twenty productions and recitals, and hopes to one day be on Broadway.


Bend and Stretch

In this photo, you can see Josie bending her back and stretching her arm out in tune with the song she’s performing.


Step‌ Then What?

Josie and her dance instructor, Hannah Hall, discuss their dance and plan out their next steps in the song.


When I Grow Up

Hannah and Josie swing their legs in tune with the song “When I Grow Up� from the musical Matilda. This photo utilizes the full length mirror in the dance studio as the two dance.


Leap of Faith

Josie poses and Hannah prepares

for the next step in the dance.


Spin

Josie and Hannah twirl while

holding hands to add to the song’s whimsical and childish lyrics.


Perfecting Poses

Josie and Hannah concentrate on their

dance poses in the mirror to make sure they are perfect for the nearing recital.


Preparation

After practicing her duet with Hannah, it is time for the four year olds’ ballet and tap practice. Josie is another instructor, and is seen putting her hair up in preparation for the ballet practice as children crowd around her.


Tiptoes

Josie and Hannah instruct the girls in the ballet class to go on their tiptoes and reach for the sky in a warmup.


Instructor

Josie focuses on one girl’s stance and

instructs her on how to improve.


Singing “For Good”

After the ballet and tap class, Josie heads to Wachusett’s Senior Night (Baccalaureate) to prepare for her duet with her best friend, Sydney Straub. They are performing “For Good” from the musical Wicked.


Prom Struggles

After all of her hard work, Josie wants to have some fun! She and her boyfriend, Cole, were taking prom pictures at a friend’s house

before prom, but all does not go as planned. Josie struggles to pin the boutonniere on Cole’s suit for a few minutes, concentrating on getting the broken pin to work. Cole realizes Josie cannot pin the flower on and

begins to laugh, and Josie joins in.


Summary

During this project, I learned to utilize my camera’s rapid photo setting in order to get the best photos while people are in movement, as well as how to adjust photos when the photo’s subject is extremely pale. My topic of musical theater fits the project very well because the three actions one must do during musical theater (acting, singing, dancing) are difficult without each other! A lot of dedication must go into musical theater, which means students that apply for a musical theater are extremely dedicated to their craft (thus making the major very competitive). The fact that Josie was in the 1% of students to get into a BFA in musical theater shows how far she’s come within her seventeen years.

Musical theater benefits the community in many ways, with the most apparent being that the community gets to enjoy a performance after all of the actors’ hard work. Another benefit is that musical theater is a good way to exercise; the younger kids have an outlet for their energy and a class that they look forward to! A third way musical theater benefits the community is that it provides a source of income for the people who work on the productions and the town (which often supplies the stage for performances). Musical theater benefits the community in many more ways than you might initially think, and it’s a very challenging craft that not many people see often.

Musical Theater  
Musical Theater  

For Teens Succeed project in VisComm

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