Students bring Gypsy to life in dazzling spring musical


Gyspy performers make the show come to life – Courtesy of @SandburgHS Twitter

Layan Wahdan, Staff Reporter

Carl Sandburg High School proudly presented the annual spring musical, Gypsy, throughout the past few weeks. Performances took place on April 12 – 15, all at 7pm, in the PAC. Production for the musical began in March under the direction of Ms. Etchason, an English teacher here at Sandburg. Musical sponsors, actors, crew, and pit musicians began planning, and rehearsal officially began.

Gypsy is inspired by a memoir written by Gypsy Rose Lee. The musical focuses on the story of Gypsy’s mother, Rose, and how she is determined to have her youngest daughter, June, have a successful career. However, after June secretly runs away in order to get married, Rose turns all her attention to her older, less talented daughter, Loise, who eventually takes a turn in her career path and renames herself Gypsy Rose Lee.

As usual, many were excited for the musical, both to perform and watch. It was a truly intriguing and entertaining experience to participate in and view the play, as it all comes together with the help of students, actors, and teachers.

Many students came together to make the musical happen. This included actors, pit musicians, and stage crew. All of their collective efforts resulted in an entertaining, funny, and special show.

One crew member, Besan Wahdan, has been participating in the musical since last year as a sophomore and has continued to be a crew member this year for Gypsy. Regarding this year and last, she expresses her love for being one of the big backstage helpers, watching the whole process of the production come together into one big event for everyone to experience. Wahdan states “It was cool. I really like the people and Mr. Powers [the teacher/sponsor in charge of stage crew] is the best. The people there are amazing and I learn so much just from being there. It is so fun and makes my
day whenever I’m there. Mr. Powers always has a good joke, the people are always welcoming and kind and funny, and it’s just all around a great experience.”

As the crew began their work in creating the set and helping put together the production, the cast began their practices, which ran from three to nine. Depending on the role, students were staying after school for practice about two to five times a week, working on dancing, singing, and memorizing their lines by practicing open book runs.

Two members of the musical share their first ever high school musical experience as freshman. Brandon Castillo, who performed as Pasty and Angie, says “the
play was a really fun experience. I made a lot of new friends.”

Cassidy Mckibben, who played young Loise, said, “the cast was really amazing and supportive. I had a great time because of that.”

Overall, the musical was said to have gone pretty well. Ms. Etchason, the producer of the musical, who said the “the kids were great, and the best part were the kids who never did theater before that had the chance to and participated in the play.”

When it came to difficulties, she spoke about how “coming out of Covid where there weren’t any shows made it a bit harder, there was just so much excitement to have shows again and nobody realized how hard it was actually going to be. A lot of the difficulties were managing the students’ lives and schedules, because they were involved in a lot of things, it was very hard to get everyone there at the same time.”

Overall, Ms. Etchason spoke about how Gypsy was one of her favorite shows and how she can’t wait until next year. She is in good company; neither the actors nor the audience can wait to see what Carl Sandburg High School’s musical production team pulls off next!