Freshman Anna Patel will be playing Matilda in the upcoming winter musical titled after the character, Matilda, which opens February 28th. We will bring you backstage as we share with you Anna’s take on the process of getting ready for the performance.
Upon learning that she had been casted as Matilda, Anna was very surprised she got the main role because she is a freshman,even though she has been doing theatre her whole life. Anna explained to us how she didn’t originally audition for the role of Matilda and,“it wasn’t even a thought in my mind”. For those of you interested in becoming involved in future productions, Anna describes the audition process as a welcoming experience. Auditions typically involve a short group choreography (although this year the choreographer was unable to attend auditions). There is a dance call where the choreographer teaches the group a certain dance and then everyone splits off into smaller groups to perform. To follow that, every person prepares sixteen bars of music to sing in front of the casting board.
Even though many of us may find auditioning and performing in front of others to be nerve wracking, Anna believes that she has gained confidence by doing theatre and auditions and that it’s a good way for her to meet people. She has not yet felt the pressure of taking on such a major role, but believes it will hit her closer to the performance.
Anna continues reflecting on the experiences she has had with the rest of the community, saying that she was nervous about how people would react to a freshman taking on the main role. However, Anna explains that everyone ended up being very positive and says she received so much encouragement it almost “felt like my birthday”. The Hawken community is unwaveringly supportive, and Anna is very thankful for the welcoming entrance to Hawken Player’s Society.
When asked about what makes this show special, Anna excitedly shares that “it’s inspiring for young people to see that there’s this little girl that can do all these amazing things” as Matilda overcomes struggles in her life with the help of others. She adds that the show is a great representation of Hawken, and of course, fun! Anna believes that this role will help her improve her leadership skills as well as her time management skills because of the amount of time commitments she has. In terms of acting, she hopes to work on connecting with the audience and making them “feel something” since her role can be very sad. Anna explains how wonderful and exciting she believes the dancing in the musical is and can’t wait for people to see it! Anna relates herself to the role of Matilda saying that she and Matilda are both young girls who are capable of so much, and we couldn’t agree more.
Opening night of Matilda is February 28th in the Kennedy Auditorium. Student tickets are discounted, so grab a friend come out and support Anna and the rest of Hawken Player’s Society during the last weekend of February and the first weekend of March.