The Dawning of Musical Season

A microphone in front of the stage in preparation of the musical practice.

Erik Dubbs, Staffer

“You Have 3 Minutes to be a Star in Pine Grove… I want someone to come onstage and just— wow me. We’re talking about acting here! We’re talking about how do you feel emotionally! I’m looking for that connection with what you’re trying to convey to me. I don’t want someone to just read off of a passage, I want someone to create a story with what I give them,” says Mr. Gibson, Musical and Band Director for Pine Grove Area High School. Auditions are being held for the annual Cardinal Spotlight Theatre. Mr. Gibson, apprehensive for the upcoming season, says, “On a scale of one to ten… Musical stress level is probably a fifteen.”

Mr. Gibson, still unsure of the production this year comments on the nature regarding originality, Gibson believes, “Every show is unique in its own way. We could do the same show twice and it’d still be unique in its entirety. It’s a product of our organization, we have so many people involved in every aspect of artistic direction. This allows us to incorporate their ideas and give us liberty for creativity, and that’s part of the excitement… The creativity.” When asked about his greatest ideas, Gibson reflected upon a past performance, “The biggest idea that’s ever popped into my head was during when we’d done Wizard of Oz… I just really wanted to create a tornado in that auditorium!” chuckling, Gibson explains his execution, “So… We got as many fans as we could, which wasn’t really my vision. My vision was to have fifteen industrial fans blowing air across the room, but in the end, it just proved to be a headache, so it ended up being a smaller scale of what I’ve previously envisioned. What can you say… ‘We run a million dollar show on a redneck budget.’ My anticipation sometimes is a little… out of skew.”

When asked about the pros and cons of the season, Mr.Gibson said, “The lows would definitely have to be the ‘drama’ that comes with ‘drama’… It gets—VERY tense. And the highs would without a doubt have to be opening night! Opening night is just so special because everything is just finally there! The things you’ve never seen before, that you’ve hoped appear, and they do! Well, usually they do.”

Mr. Gibson, touchy on the subject of leaving the program explains. “I’ve definitely contemplated leaving the program and giving it up every year.  The things that keep me going are probably more personal than anything else, and they’re keeping me probably longer than they should be…”

“I cast in a unique way… I do not tell the students what the musical is because I’d want a true audition where a student doesn’t have in their mind that they want to be a character, I want to see the students for what they can do rather than a limited version of themselves. I’d rather have someone come through those audition doors to show me how they act rather than them coming through the door thinking they’re perfect for Belle, referencing Beauty and the Beast, which we’ve done very recently…” Mr. Gibson looks forward to the season and the new memories to be made.