When there was a need for a musical director, one member of the staff from Potosi High School decided to come in and take on the challenge. High School English teacher, Mrs. Siegert, who has directed the school play for the past few years, really decided to test her skills by taking on the role of the lead musical director this year. With her past theater experience and great enthusiasm toward theater, Mrs. Seigert will do her best to make this year's musical the best one yet.

Nothing comes without struggles; of course, this includes the musical. “The biggest problem is that so many people are gone when we rehearse the scenes. This is an ensemble piece so everybody is in every scene,” says Mrs. Siegert. With 17 parts, getting everyone together at one time is very difficult. Students are busy, so finding a time that works for the whole cast, especially with fall sports still going on, is very difficult. Homecoming week was a few weeks ago now, so she hopes that with that over and with the volleyball season just ending, it will be easier to get the cast together for a full practice.

There is a difference between plays and musicals, and it is not just the music. “In a play, I really like to see the characters develop and react to each other more, and these scenes aren't long enough for that to happen, and that is what's different,” says Mrs. Siegert. She explains how plays are more enjoyable for the audience and easier to follow along with the storyline, while musicals are harder to follow along with and there is often a looser storyline. In this year's musical, there are so many little parts that just don’t quite connect. Mrs. Siegert tells me, “The music script is very unbelievable.” It is not unbelievable as in unrealistic, but unbelievable as some parts just don’t make the most sense when you really think about them.

It was not Mrs. Siegert's first choice to direct the musical. She is the type of person who is always ready to step in and help when it is needed. Mrs. Siegert says, “There was nobody else that was taking it on, and because it’s Wynne’s senior year and it is something that she has looked forward to for eight years, that is the reason that I said I would do it, with some assistance.” Mr. Lynn and Mrs. Farrell have been helping with the behind-the-scenes types of things. Mr. Lynn does the business part of it, such as advertising and making shirts, and Mrs. Farrel is working on putting costumes and props together. Mr. Bockenhauer has also been doing a big part by building many set pieces for it.

Mrs. Siegert has quite a theater background to support her in directing. She was even a theater major at one point. Mrs. Siegert tells me about her first theater experience, saying, “I was a freshman and I don't even remember the name of it, but I was the female janitor to the senior male janitor, and that was really intimidating to have to play opposite of senior, and a boy at that.” Her history of being in different plays and musicals is really great for the students participating because she has been in their shoes and knows about the stresses and struggles of being a student in a theater piece. She has not just been an actor; she has also been on the other side of it by directing plays and musicals. She tells me, “I directed Summer theater from 1990 to 2002, so during my college years and early teaching years, every summer I would go back to my hometown and direct. It's really cool to see those kids. They're grown up now and one of them even went on to Second City. He was that good, and he started with me in middle school, so that's cool.” You may even be able to credit Mrs. Siegert for the boy making it that far. 

She says that the first musical she was in was You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and she says that she played Charlie Brown in that production. Her sister played Linus because there were not many boys that went out, and the one boy that did go out played the role of Snoopy. As a senior, she played Dorthy in the production The Wizard of Oz. Then in college, she was in Oliver and Social Security.

Even with all the stresses and problems she faces in directing, Mrs. Siegert still enjoys what she does. She tells me what she enjoys most is, “I like seeing kids in a different light and just seeing how creative they are, how people can take on a different character and get into it.” The actors in the musical can agree that getting to be someone else is really cool. She tells me how everyone likes how they can get away with acting differently than they usually do when acting. Creativity is a very special skill and getting to see people's creative side is definitely something you want, especially as a teacher like Mrs. Siegert. 

With it getting close to showtime, you may wonder how the show is turning out. Mrs. Siegert tells me, “I think the musical is going fairly well in terms of student enthusiasm. I am however a little worried we won't get our lines memorized because we don't have enough consecutive rehearsals.” She is most worried for the younger students and for the students who have been hitting the wrong notes. She feels like she can't help them as much with hitting the right notes considering she doesn't have much of a musical background and can't just run to a keyboard and show them every time they sing a note wrong. She also says, “Dramatically speaking, it's going to be fine; people understand their characters and motivations, but the music end of it, I want to fine-tune.” With the talented group that is taking part in this production, this is bound to be another great show put on by Mrs. Siegert. 

The musical is now just a week away and Mrs. Siegert's hard work and dedication will pay off with her musical production. She will be putting all of her theatrical knowledge to the test and showing the town her directing skills. Make sure you are at Keith Carlton Livens Auditorium on November 11th at 7 p.m. and 12th at 2 p.m. for the showing of Horror High directed by Amy Siegert.