by Ali Libertella
It is the middle of November, and for Tech, that means SING! season has just come to a close. For over two months, both teams produced, wrote, and rehearsed two unique shows. On November 10th , 11th, and 12th the Senior Sophomore team performed “Zeroes to Heroes” and the Junior Freshman Team performed “Keeping up with the Krown.” This year, the senior sophomore team took home the trophy, seniors having 3 victories, and sophomores having 2.
In honor of my last SING season coming to a close, I decided to interview two people with very important positions on the Senior Sophomore team- Aly Minkoff- director, and Caitlin Balagula- choreographer. I wanted to know how they felt about SING this year.
Caitlin was a choreographer for our junior and senior shows. Throughout this time, she always felt that she “didn’t have as much experience in dancing as the other choreographers, Julia and Tamar.” She did gymnastics for 10 years, but danced in a studio for only 2. When I asked if this has ever made her feel inadequate compared to them, she said that it did, because she didn’t have as much competitive and recreational dance experience. Choreographing didn’t come as easily to Caitlin as it did to others. However, she wanted to choreograph both years because she had just as much passion for dance as the other two choreographers. She feels that she has “the leadership skills that you need to teach a group of 85 kids a complicated dance.” She was willing to “tolerate the frustrations of that and help people on the side whenever they needed it.” I followed up that question and asked what the hardships of choreographing sing were. This almost stumped Caitlin. She mentioned that this year in particular, our cast had the largest group of kids, so it was at times extremely difficult to get such a big group under control. “Getting 85 people to do a dance as full out as they would in rehearsals as in the actual show is almost impossible, and it’s really frustrating. We go over the dances so many times that people get bored of it.” Caitlin said her favorite things about choreographing Sing are, “when we’re doing a run through and I’m standing in back of auditorium and watching everyone do the dance I made,” and when individual people ask for personal help on the dances. It shows that they really care and are trying to learn it to the best of their abilities.
I also interviewed my close friend and SSV director Aly Minkoff the Monday after Sing weekend. She was elated after the great victory. She knew she wanted to direct the instant after she was accepted into Tech. She said, “I thought it was so unique for a high school student to have the opportunity to direct a musical.” She always had a passion for theatre. I asked Aly what her expectations were for directing. She knew it would require a lot of hard work and dedication, “but I loved every minute of it.” She looked forward to writing the script, choosing songs and writing lyrics, and spending the summer with all our writers. However, things got more difficult when she realized our cast had 85 kids, the largest SING cast Tech has ever had. That was the most challenging part of directing. “It was very difficult to organize rehearsals with so many people and I lost my voice multiple times throughout the rehearsal process.” I can attest to this, Aly’s voice has not been at its full potential since the middle of September. She said it was difficult to communicate with all the different departments of SING that can sometimes be overlooked, like band, stage crew, and tech crew. She had to keep up with the progress being made on the show. However, “winning the trophy made all our hard work worth it.” I asked her what she learned from directing. She answered, I learned how important every single team member is to producing the show. Every cast member, stage crew member, band member, and tech crew member played such an important part in creating Zeroes to Heroes and our show wouldn’t have been complete without everyone’s individual contributions.” She found out how much passion she really had for theatre production. She even admitted to loving how extremely stressed out she was during every moment of SING for the past few months. “It was such a unique experience to put my vision of a show onto the stage and to work alongside such talented people.” She is now considering a career in theater production, all thanks to SING.