Mitchell Elementary PTA

Every Child. One Voice - Golden, Colorado

The Journalism Club Presents

Behind the Scenes of West­ward Whoa

By the Jour­nal­ism Club


Fourth, 5th and 6th grade Jour­nal­ism Club stu­dents sat down with Mr. Phillips to talk with him about what goes into plan­ning the 6th grade musi­cal and what Mitchell can expect for next year.

J-club: After the audi­tions, how do you decide who gets which part?
Mr. Phillips: By judges’ score and stu­dent preference.There are five cri­te­ria judges score. They are: pro­jec­tion, dic­tion, char­ac­ter, voice, and over­all assess­ment. Char­ac­ter is defined as the student’s abil­i­ty to stay in char­ac­ter, be the­atri­cal and main­tain an accent if need­ed. Voice qual­i­ty is judged by pitch-match­ing only.


J-club: Why did you use bananas as guns?
Mr. Phillips: Based on feed­back from MCAT, we want­ed to avoid using weapon props. Also, West­ward Whoa is a melo­dra­ma. The props sup­port­ed the over­all sense of silli­ness and com­e­dy.


J-club: How do you decide which musi­cal you’re going to per­form each year?
Mr. Phillips: Based on my per­ceived assess­ment of stu­dent inter­est and abil­i­ty. I also meet with the involved par­ents after the wrap of the show to talk and begin plan­ning for the fol­low­ing year.


J-club: For West­ward Whoa, where did you read about it, or find it, or learn about it?
Mr. Phillips: Know­ing that I was inter­est­ed in doing a melo­dra­ma this year, I chose it based on the syn­op­sis on the Pio­neer Pub­lish­ing web­site.


J-club: How do you decide the clothes the per­form­ers wear?
Mr. Phillips: By char­ac­ter and stu­dent pref­er­ence.

J-club: How stress­ful has this musi­cal been to coor­di­nate as the oth­er ones you’ve done? Mr. Phillips: This year was a lit­tle more stress­ful because of the time of year the Gold­en High School the­ater was available…after vaca­tion.


J-club: We heard this was the first time you’ve run the show for two nights, is that true? Mr. Phillips: No; I like the stu­dents to have a sec­ond night if pos­si­ble to refine their per­for­mance.


J-club: How much time went into orga­niz­ing this pro­duc­tion?
Mr. Phillips: I can’t even say…


J-club: Why did you choose West­ward Whoa? What is it about?
Mr. Phillips: It is a melo­dra­ma with a West­ern theme about the clas­sic sto­ry of good vs. evil.


J-club: Why does Mitchell per­form a 6th grade musi­cal every year?
Mr. Phillips: As a cul­mi­na­tion of the music expe­ri­ence for Mitchell stu­dents. This may be the last chance for some stu­dents to be exposed to musi­cal the­ater because it will be an elec­tive after 6th grade.


J-club: For ris­ing 6th graders, how can they pre­pare to par­tic­i­pate in next year’s musi­cal?
Mr. Phillips: Stu­dents who want a part in next year’s play should prac­tice the vocal exer­cis­es we do dur­ing music class over the sum­mer. Also, Her­itage Square and the Arva­da Cen­ter both offer per­form­ing arts camps dur­ing the sum­mer. Par­tic­i­pa­tion in those kinds of activ­i­ties also helps.


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