Fort Mill High students are prepared to delight local residents with an old-fashioned musical as they open a four-day run this week of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
The school’s Studio E theater department has been working daily for months to sing, dance and swagger on stage for the beloved musical, which is set in the mountains of mid-1800s Oregon.
The school will perform the show in the FMHS auditorium this Thursday to Saturday, April 4, 5, and 6 at 7 p.m., with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 7. Tickets are $8-$12. (Click here for tickets, or buy them with cash or credit card at the door.)
The musical tells the story of seven backwoodsmen brothers who decide they need wives. The oldest brother Adam (played by senior Will Roque) successfully marries Milly (played by senior Gillian Huntley), a pretty, smart, capable town girl, after a super quick, song-length courtship, but the other brothers aren’t so immediately successful.
Impatient Adam convinces his brothers to kidnap six town girls and a preacher so the rest of them can get married, too. In the confusion of the kidnapping, the boys forget the preacher. Sealed off from town by an avalanche and with no preacher to marry them, Milly banishes the brothers to the barn for the winter.
Will Roque, who last starred as villain Glenn Guglia in Wedding Singer, said audiences should enjoy the old-fashioned musical.
“It’s very family friendly,” he said. “It really warms your heart. I think audiences would love it. It’s fun. Literally, any age could come and see it and get something out of it.”
Gillian Huntley said she had fun learning new ways to talk and dress for her lead role as Milly.
“How we spoke – that was a weird thing to get used to,” she said. “And then our costumes and our posture. Most of us are so used to (slouching) forward. And most of them have proper posture. … Most women wear dresses (in the musical). We are used to wearing jeans and shorts and stuff like that. So we are all wearing dresses and then we have our crinolines under them. And also, we can’t show a lot of skin because it’s not ‘lady-like.'”
Both Roque and Huntley plan to pursue theater after graduating this year, and both hope to end up in New York. “I have been doing this since the sixth grade,” Huntley said. “So I am probably going to Coastal Carolina, and I am going to try to do their theater art program there for two years and then transfer to a school in New York. That’s where it’s at.”
Elizabeth Williams, FMHS theater teacher, directed the musical production. She said the FMHS staff likes to choose an “oldie but goodie” every two years, and this is one of those performances.
“It is a style of acting that is different from the contemporary dramas. The more modern dramas now – the music is different, the style is different. And this is old-time musical theater. It was a movie musical,” she said.
Also starring in the production are Elijah Koch, Skylar Huntley, Camron VanderHeide, Maura Peecher, Sampson Piermattei, Skylar Hubbarth, Kale Hart, Emily Stankovits, Spencer Dulin, Brenna Kallas, Emmett Froebrich and Maggie Deer.
Also, Lauren Pincus, Duncan McDonald, Anthony Belton, Harry Gainey, Abigail Brown, Gabriel Ortiz-Larrauri, Parker Hundley, Jack Rapoza, Liam Hanlon, Danny McDonald and Zachary Hathaway.
The Townsgirls are played by Emma Caldwell, Jenna Brown, Helena Roppatte, Megan Christner, Caroline Anderson and Ellie Dobleske. Musical Director is Katie Dierkes with Liz Dukes-Hagen serving as Choreographer and Caitlin McGlothlin is Technical Director. Mya Brandon is Stage Manager.