By Elizabeth Quackenbush, Explorebigsky.com Contributor
Who says there is nothing to do in Big Sky in early May? “A Slice of Savannah,” an original musical written, composed, and produced by students in the Ophir Middle School premieres on Thursday, May 3, with an additional performance (with a different cast) on Friday, May 4. You won’t want to miss it.
This is the second year Ophir music teacher Christian Gutierez and Big Sky Broadway Director and WMPAC Artistic Director John Zirkle have teamed up to help to teach a musical theater class, which guides the kids at the school through every step of a show, from conceptualizing and writing a story to composing music, writing lyrics, designing sets and more.
Last year, the silly yet exquisitely written play “Of Glory Days and Mayonnaise,” sky-rocketed with popularity and launched the concept in a class of eight students. This year the bar is set just as high—and 22 students are involved.
This year’s production, which is double cast, is the story of a young girl Marah Winter (Ellie Quackenbush and Sayler Tatom) who leaves her troubling life in New Jersey and terrible father (Amy Farhat) to find her extended family. With the help of her best friend Mickey the Pig (Abi Hogan and Chloee Beardsley) and boy runaway Silas (Luisa Locker and Dasha Bough) she might just find what she is looking for. Along the way she will meet Millie the librarian (Katie Middleton) Forest the food stand owner (Howie Robin), the zany twins Jill and George (Bella Butler, Julia Barton, Carter Johnson, Soby Haarman), Mrs. Jurg (Helen Sacchi), Suzy (Blair Johnson) and Celia, the town veterinarian (Katie Hoffman).
Griffin Schumacher is the student director, Anna Alvin and Nicole Calvin are stage and prop managers, and local piano teacher and concert pianist Klaudia Kosiak provides the musical accompaniment. Sets were constructed and decorated by a team led by Taylor Middleton and Vika Smirnova.
The new musical will be performed on Thursday May 3rd and Friday May 4th, at Ophir School. Admission is free. The casts are different for each performance, so don’t miss a night. Doors open at 6 p.m and the show begins promptly at 7.