Greenhill Theater to Perform “Big Fish”

Hanlon Shedd

This year, the fall musical at Greenhill will be “Big Fish,” written by John August.

The show is about Edward Bloom, played by senior Theodore Robertson, telling his son Will Bloom, played by sophomore JJ Arbuckle, different stories about witches, giants, mermaids and more.

This year, there will be three shows between Nov. 17 and Nov. 18. The tickets are $12 and being sold on Greenhill’s website.

After the success of the last musical, “The Little Mermaid”, in the spring, more students than past years auditioned for the fall production. This factored into the process of choosing the show for the fall.

“We knew that we were probably going to get a lot of people interested in participating, so it needed to be a big show,” said Upper School Theater Director Valerie Hauss-Smith.

Hauss-Smith did not choose the production because of the large cast but also because it highlights different student skills. Sophomore Asha Blewett will unicycle, junior Lucas Lopez is learning to walk on stilts and Greenhill’s tech crew has built a working cannon for the production.

In past years, the musical has been in the spring, while a play would take place in the fall, but this year the order was switched to prepare students for play auditions in the spring. Additionally, the decision was made because Rose Hall, the Marshall Performing Art Centers in-house auditorium, is used more frequently in the spring by other Greenhill Divisions

“We think that if we can announce early enough what the next season is going to be, then by January, students can decide whether or not they are interested,” said Hauss-Smith.

There are 57 students participating in the play, with 41 in the cast and 16 in tech. In order to keep the cast close-knit, “deputies” are elected and put in charge of making sure everyone feels included. After making a speech to those in the musical, five deputies were selected and put in charge of organizing social events.

Another important aspect of Greenhill theater this year is the community fostered between students of all grades.

“The musical is a really good way to deepen connections you already have or form new connections because so many students do it,” said Arbuckle.

“You should come to the show because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We’ve been working so hard, and it’s going to pay off in the end. The show is good for all ages, it has an amazing message, and it’s a perfect way to end the first semester,” said Robertson.