IDAHO FALLS — Idaho Falls School District 91 students have been hard at work prepping their production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” This weekend, you’ll be able to witness the fruits of all their efforts.
“Seven Brides” is the 2022 District 91 musical, with performers representing schools throughout the district. This musical teams the on-stage cast with an orchestra comprised of District 91 students, giving all involved an experience similar to working on a big Broadway-style show.
“This year, we’re celebrating our 40th annual musical,” Sharon Cole, the play’s producer, told EastIdahoNews.com. “We call it ‘the District Musical’ because it’s open to any of our students from 7th to 12th grade.”
“Seven Brides” is a musical period piece chock full of romance and comedy that tells a story that has become an important thread in the American cultural tapestry.
“It’s set back in the 1800s,” Cole said. “There are seven brothers who are living up in the mountains and the oldest brother comes into town one day because he wants to get a wife. He ends up meeting Milly and she moves up, sees that there are six brothers and over the course of the play, she introduces the brothers to some of the town’s girls.”
Cole said that “Seven Brides” was picked because it features numerous roles and would let a lot of students participate.
“When we pick a musical, we’re looking for something with a large cast,” she said. “We want as many speaking parts as possible and a large ensemble. Our biggest challenges are getting all the cast together and taking care of everything. They’re all learning to dance, sing and act.”
Another element of the production is that includes a live orchestra providing a musical score to the show. After rehearsing separately for about two months, the cast and the orchestra come together and refine the process of working together to put on a good show.
“We started rehearsing right after Christmas break,” said Cole. “It’s been about three months. We meet after school three nights a week to teach everyone their lines, the songs and the choreography.”
“When the orchestra comes in, we work on timing with the orchestra,” she said. “They started rehearsing just after Christmas break, too. But they rehearse on their own to learn the music and then, at some point, we bring them in to get the timing set with the actors on the stage.”
The actors and the orchestra are extremely excited to get the show in front of audiences to display the results of their hard work. But many of the benefits the students get out of working on the musical don’t necessarily show up on stage during the show.
“We bring students in from five of our secondary schools,” Cole said. “A lot of these kids would possibly never even meet and they form friendships and they are so supportive of each other. They basically become a family.”
You can catch Idaho Falls School District 91’s production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” on April 8, 9, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. at Compass Academy. Tickets are $7 and are available at the District 91 offices, through students involved with and play and at the door. Click here to visit District 91 or drop by the D91 Facebook page to keep up with other happenings in the district.