By Jim Klar, Communications Officer
Are you ready for a musical that challenges your beliefs while you're dancing in your seat? Then you're ready for Ranked - coming to TAS as the fall Upper School Musical production running November 9-11 at 7:00 PM in the Guy Lott Jr. Auditorium. Ranked is a new show set in a dystopian world where class rank determines students' future, and they'll do anything to be top of the class. Written by high school music and drama teachers, Ranked was inspired by the students they taught, who also contributed to creating their characters.
According to TAS Upper School Drama Teacher Austin Farwell, the play gives his actors a chance to play someone a lot like them with many of the same, albeit exaggerated, pressures to perform. "Ranked is a new musical written for high school students, so it is relevant, current, and timely. It deals with the stresses and pressures of higher education, the need for balance, and what it means to succeed," said Farwell. "This show makes people think, feel, celebrate, and possibly even change their thinking!" he added.
While actors within the proscenium may be the primary focus for the audience, there is so much more that goes on in the wings and behind the scenes, particularly in a musical, to make it all possible. And Ranked is no exception. A creative team of passionate young artists is working hard to bring this story to life.
Under the leadership of Technical Theater Teacher Dr. Kevin Held, the technical team is entering a new and exciting professional sphere through set building, stage management, handling microphones, and audio mixing responsibilities. Under the helm of Upper School Dance Teachers Cheryl Lagerquist and Kendra Ing, the choreography team is creating unforgettable moments. Music Teachers Stephen Abernethy and Andy Taylor are guiding singers and student musicians to new heights of excellence while Jennifer Anderson leads sound mixing with Chris Bryant designing the costumes.
"Rehearsals are going great!" said Farwell. "Besides being a lot of fun, Ranked opens a new dialogue about what it means to succeed in today's rapidly changing world. Everyone has put so much work into this, and we delight in being able to share all of that hard work with the TAS community and beyond."