The Valparaiso High School Drama Club presented "Bye Bye Birdie" at the Memorial Opera House, a musical about a man caught in the unlikely crossroads of rock-and-roll and war.
The co-drama club sponsor and Valparaiso High School English teacher, Molly Vass, said the Memorial Opera House played an important part in making this musical possible.
“Our biggest thank you definitely goes out to the Memorial Opera House,” Vass explained. Without them we probably would not be able to have a production this year because our school is under construction. We have been very thankful that they have been so generous and that they have welcomed us with open arms.”
"Bye Bye Birdie" is an entertaining musical set in the late 1950’s about a famous rock star named Conrad Birdie. The plot of the story unraveles when Birdie takes the audience for an adventure before he gets drafted to war. The musical is originally inspired by “The King of Rock-N-Roll,” Elvis Presley, when he was drafted for the army in 1957.
However, the true stars of the show were the wonderful cast from Valparaiso High School and the generous professionals of the Memorial Opera House. The production of the musical showed how bright our community can shine, especially when we work together.Not only was it a great experience for the Valparaiso High School students to get a chance to perform on a real stage, but also an amazing learning opportunity. The students actually worked with real professionals throughout the process.
Every step of the process has been collaboration between the students and those in the community who have more experience,” Vass described. “This opportunity was not something that you would typically get for a normal high school production.”
For co-stage manager and Valpo High School senior Alexis Kotcamp, this was a great opportunity she'd be glad to relive. Although she has different career plans for the future, she learned a lot from being part of this excellent team.
“It has taken a while to get where I am, but hard work pays off,” Kotcamp stated. “I would be happy to be involved in a production again.”
No matter what career goals the students had ahead of them, this was a great learning experience for everyone. Lighting designer, Connor Gregg, said he sees himself continuing his theater career in the future.
“I’ve been an actor before. I enjoyed acting, but I always had more fun doing backstage technical stuff,” Gregg said. “It has just been a ton of fun. I definitely see myself doing this in the future, possibly.”
"Bye Bye Birdie" was a fun musical with a great story, but there was also another inspiring story found that night: the story of a wonderful community working together.
Visit the Memorial Opera House's website to plan your next theater trip at https://www.memorialoperahouse.com/ and stay up-to-date on Valparaiso High School's productions on their calendar at their website!