The First High School Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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Jesuit has been given the opportunity to produce the first high school production ever to be done of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The show is based off of the Disney film produced in 1996. A fairly new show brings excitement as well as nerves to the many Jesuit students participating in the production of this once-in-a-lifetime show.
“I think it is very exciting to be the first high school to put on this show, but with the excitement also comes pressure”, sophomore Xavier Warner said.
Disney hand-picked Jesuit a long with a two other high schools across the United States to produce the first performance of The Hunchback, setting the bar high for our drama department. Our production of this show will mold the many high school performances to follow.
“We get to add our own touch to the characters were portraying, so I kind of get to pave the pathway for high school students in the future productions of this show”, Warner said.
Disney chose our Jesuit high school because of our very talented and well known Jeff Hall who has earned an extremely sought-after reputation because of the spectacular productions he has put on over the years.
“We have a good relationship with and reputation in the national high school theatre field, and work closely with the companies that license productions, including Music Theatre International”, Mr. Jeff Hall said.
The production will also give insight as to whether this show is doable for other high schools. Since the show requires an extremely large cast and choir, it makes it difficult to maintain organization in order to produce a  production with a lasting impression on it’s audience.
“The quality of this production will determine whether or not it is worthy of being produced by other schools. This momentous task, though intimidating, also adds some motivation and excitement, enticing the cast (and myself) to do their absolute best”, freshman Kenzie Gross said.
The Hunchback has never set foot on Broadway due to the expansive cast required to perform it. The amount of money Broadway would spend to hire the proper choir would not come close to breaking even. The cost is too paramount, which is why they decided to let high schools try it out. Luckily, Jesuit has very large participation from our talented choir.
“The inclusion of a choir adds a unique element to the production. The choir is on stage for most of the show and participates in most songs”, junior Hailey Short, choir member, said. “The Hunchback score is incredibly complex, and the choir often sings different lyrics or notes than the members of the ensembles.”
The numerous snow days resulted in missed rehearsals, setting the drama department behind on schedule. This elevated stress levels among the cast, but nevertheless excitement still drives on.
“Ever since the snow days when it got cancelled, we’ve really had to hit the ground running”, junior Paul Danowski said. “So when we get into rehearsal it’s much more fast paced”
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Jesuit has had the honor to receive, and our drama department and choir is working extremely hard to make this show phenomenal.
“I’m really going to make sure that I make every minute of this production count,” senior Beverly Skinner said.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame will be showing February 23 – March 5. Tickets are available on Jesuit’s website.
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