The spotlight is on you. Everyone is watching. You’ve never been more nervous or excited about anything. Have you experienced this feeling? Well, for those who have participated in any of St. Andrew’s musicals or plays, you know this feeling all too well.
This year's Upper School musical production is “The Lightning Thief,” based on the first book in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, many students’ childhood favorite. The musical follows Percy Jackson and his journey with new friends into the underworld to stop a war between the gods. This musical is bound to make you wish you were a half-blood, too.
The musical director at St. Andrew’s is Mr. Ritchie Porter. When asked what prompted him to choose “The Lightning Thief” for this year's musical, he said, “We knew going into this season that we wanted to do a show with a rock score. I also wanted to do something new and different. A few students recommended ‘The Lightning Thief,’ mainly because they were Percy Jackson enthusiasts in Middle School, and knew the show and thought it would work well for our school.”
Leah Facciobene ‘24 plays Luke, who is Percy’s friend turned nemesis, and is a big fan of the Percy Jackson books. When asked what it was like to work on the show as someone who read the books, she said, “It's kind of like a dream come true. You get to see your childhood heroes come to life on stage and not only see them, but also get to be a part of the process. Playing Luke has been really interesting because he’s the villain in the stories, so not only do I get to see my heroes come to life, but I also get to fight them.”
Do you ever see amazing musical or play sets and wonder how they are made? Ask Mr. Ben Zastrow! He is the man behind the scenes who makes sure everything on stage looks just like the audience imagined it. “Percy Jackson is an extension of Greek mythology in modern times, so I wanted to have a nod towards that Greek theme,” he said when asked what inspired his vision for this year's sets. “The inspiration comes from the script, the approach Mr. Porter and I decide on, and the available resources and what I would like to teach students working on the show.”
Ella Smith ‘23 is a part of the stage crew and worked on creating puppets for the show. She was asked what it was like to work on the show and she said, “I think that it's a really eye-opening experience because it shows you how much effort goes into production. It shows you how you can accomplish really magical things with simple materials.”
Joel Crump ‘26 was cast as the lead character, Percy Jackson. On how he thought the musical was going to go this year, he said, “I think this year, the musical is going to be absolutely fantastic because we have been working hard and everything will come together before February 24, and everyone should come to see it!”
Inshera Kankam-Boadu ‘23 plays violin for the show band. When asked about why people should come to see the show she said, “From what I’ve heard, it’s absolutely hilarious. Come see it! We worked very hard!”
The musical will debut in MacDonald Hall on Friday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. The next shows are at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 26. Tickets are available at the door - $5 for seniors and $10 for adults. All students (from any school) and faculty and staff of St. Andrew’s may attend for free.