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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

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Cast, tech crew make preparations for opening night

“Mean Girls” cast and crew members reflect on the past few months of work and look ahead.
SHE%E2%80%99S+AN+APEX+PREDATOR%21+%E2%80%A2+The+Mean+Girls+cast+act+out+as+predatory+birds+in+their+Apex+Predator+dance+choreography+rehearsal.
Matthew Ramirez ’26
SHE’S AN APEX PREDATOR! • The Mean Girls cast act out as predatory birds in their Apex Predator dance choreography rehearsal.
Mean Girls program cover, designed by Matthew Ramirez ’26

Starting on Friday, Feb. 23, the Haven community will be able to see the hit Mean Girls musical come to life on the high school stage.

Beginning in late November and early December of 2023, Haven’s spring musical has been long in the works. Months of time and dedication were put in by all aspects of the musical: the cast, tech crew, pit, and costume crew.

“The costume crew’s working on costumes, the stage crew, they’re building sets,” Musical Director Mr. John Shankweiler said. “The choreographer is working on choreography. We have rehearsals in here that work the music. And then I have a rehearsal that will just be with the pit. And then… it all comes together.”

As the show comes closer, one of the biggest challenges and efforts is to bring all these parts together into a cohesive show.

“All of the stuff that’s happening around me, and all these different costume changes and stuff like that, it’s kind of just so much to put together,” junior Josie Tolson, who plays Cady Heron, said. “And I feel like it is starting to come together a lot, but there are things that I’ve just been so worried about like, ‘Oh my God, how is this even gonna work?’”

With rehearsal every other day and on weekends, progress was made, especially with the tech crew, who have been using weekend hours to build moving pieces that will be used in acts.

Senior Lanie Clark leads the tech crew for this show. “It’s definitely been challenging with the builds and making the stage since we’re not having an actual set for the show,” she said. “We have a lot of different scenes that we have to make and a bunch of different props. So trying to figure out where to put all of those [was difficult]. But we managed it.”

This has allowed tech crew members to build strong relationships from a shared interest, which is important to help put the show together from behind the curtain.

“We’re all like one big family and since we spend so much time together, we enjoy the time we spend together, and I think part of the reason we like being here is because we get to hang out with other people,” Clark said. “And it’s a lot of fun to set things up and learn how everything fits. With me running sound, it’s kind of like putting puzzle pieces together until things finally click into place.”

I think the energy on opening night is going to be so electric and I’m so excited to just show people.

— Julia McLean '24

Like the tech crew, many of the cast members have felt so much connection with their peers in bringing the musical to life.

“I think it’s just been a great community that I’ve been part of,” senior Henry Reacher, who plays Damian, said. “I’ve met, especially, a lot of underclassmen who I wouldn’t have known who play ensemble roles. And I definitely learn more about the people, a lot more about how they act, how they portrayed themselves, that I wouldn’t have known from just Silvertones, and it’s just been a great community to be part of and just from all these different aspects.”

The cast and crew behind the scenes are excited for the audience to see what they have been working on for so long.

“I think the energy on opening night is going to be so electric and I’m so excited to just show people,” senior Julia McLean, who plays Regina George, said.

The cast also hopes the show can help people relate to messages like fitting in, mental health, teenage life, and more.

“I think it’s exciting that we’re doing a high school show about a high school, and that even though there are parts that are weird and maybe we can’t relate, it’s a relatable show,” senior Brianne Caldwell, who plays Gretchen Wieners, said. “Especially Gretchen, sometimes you can relate to her that she’s very anxious. And even Cady trying to fit into all of this, everyone feels a little bit of each of these characters.”

Opening night is February 23, with shows also on February 24 and 25, March 1, 2, and 3.

“You should definitely come watch Mean Girls,” tech crew freshman Sara Farrington said. “It’s going to be one in the books.”

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About the Contributor
Evelynn Lin ’25
Evelynn Lin ’25, Editor-in-Chief
Evelynn is a junior at Strath Haven High School, and this is her second year writing for the publication. When she is not busy on the ground taking pictures of fun events or grinding away at articles, she can be found listening to music, taking long walks, studying for school, dancing, making bubble tea, and hanging out with friends.
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