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Cast members “rock” out in 1440-Minute Musical

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Tess Tyler, played by Grace Huber (‘20), features in “Camp Rock” with a  song called “Start the Party.”

Tess Tyler, played by Grace Huber (‘20), features in “Camp Rock” with a song called “Start the Party.”

Natalie Nelson (‘19) | Chips

Natalie Nelson (‘19) | Chips

Tess Tyler, played by Grace Huber (‘20), features in “Camp Rock” with a song called “Start the Party.”

Natalie Nelson, Staff Writer

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“Camp Rock,” a show that blends music, dance, and teenage anst, was student-run SPIN Theatre’s chosen show for the third annual 1440-Minute Musical. The one time performance took place on Saturday, March 10 in Jewel Theatre.

This show requires actors to learn their lines, blocking, choreography, and music within a 24-hour — or 1,440-minute —  period before the performance. Over 220 people bought tickets to see the show, and the seats in Jewel Theater were entirely filled with some of the audience sitting on the floor in front of the stage.

The musical tells the story of asipring musicians who all attend a fictional summer camp called Camp Rock. Attendance at this camp has plummetted due to a new camp called Camp Star, which has attracted the attention of many Camp Rock members. In order to stop Camp Rock from closing down due to low enrollment, the camps have a Final Jam showdown to decide which camp is best.

This is the first year that the 1440-Minute Musical has been performed in Jewel Theater instead of in Storre Theater. Co-director Mitchell Gage (‘19) was happy about the change in venue.

Natalie Nelson (‘19) | Chips
Nate Gray, played by Jeffery Lackman (‘18), expresses his romantic interest in Dana Turner, played by Tamar Tedla (‘20), in the song “Introducing Me.”

“Jewel [Theatre] can hold more bodies than Storre [Theatre] can,” Gage said. “In the last two years since starting this event, we have had to turn people away because we were not able to hold enough people in the venue. Jewel [Theatre] offers many more options to play with when staging. Lighting and technical aspects are only elevated within Jewel [Theatre].”

Lauren Sather (‘19), who played main character Mitchie Torres, was surprised by the popularity of the show and the full house.

“When I did [the 1440-Minute Musical my first-year], we performed for a packed house,” Sather said. “However, we performed in Storre Theatre, so it filled up quite fast. This year, it was really amazing to go out on stage and see Jewel Theatre completely packed.”

Sather felt the challenge of putting together a musical in 24 hours was difficult, but rewarding.

“The physical toll of staying awake — with some nap breaks — for 24 hours is definitely one of the hardest parts of putting the [1440-Minute Musical] together,” Sather said. “It was really important for us to be ready for the physical and mental exhaustion that would come with the lack of sleep and intensive rehearsal process. However, I think the production crew did a really good job of reminding of us to stay healthy and listen to our bodies.”

According to Sather, the rehearsals gradually got more tiring during the night, but became easier again once the sun had risen. She added that the cast was more energized when they saw the crowd waiting to enter Jewel Theatre for the performance.

Natalie Nelson (‘19) | Chips
Lauren Sathers (‘19) and Trevor Haren (‘21) perform the duet “Wouldn’t Change a Thing” as Mitchie Torres and Shane Gray.

“We performed at 8, but there was already a huge line at 7,” Sather said. “I think this just added to our overall excitement to do the performance. I am really grateful that so many people came out to see all the hard work we put together.”

As a newcomer to the production team for the 1440-Minute Musical, Anna Becker (‘19) worked as a costumer. Becker loved the process even though it meant she had to sacrifice sleep.

“The most challenging part of the costuming process was organizing when people had time to change during the show,” Becker said. “There are so many moments when costume changes were asked for in the script that we needed to cut because of the nature of the show. However, I think that what we did read well to the audience.”

According to Becker, one moment that confirmed her success in costuming was when Daniel Suhr (‘20), who was cast as Camp Star’s resident diva Luke Williams, walked on stage and the audience audibly gasped.

Becker said that the performance was delightful and her favorite part of the project was watching it all come together. Gage agreed.

“My favorite part of the process was watching the final performance and thinking, ‘Wow, what amazing human beings,’” Gage said. “Not only were they thinking on their feet if something went ‘wrong,’ but they exerted so much energy in those final couple runs. They pulled it off very well.”

Gage said he wanted to encourage more Luther students to get involved next year.

“If there is one event in the future at Luther that you want to be a part of, it’s this one,” Gage said. “It’s only 24 hours plus the show time. You have a blast no matter what role you are given, and you get to bond with people in every grade that you don’t know.”

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