The Show Must Go On for “The Drowsy Chaperone,” but School Doesn’t Sleep

Anna Gorman, Copy Editor

A script’s worth of lines and songs to remember, several dances to perform and an entire character to portray all make up the giant weight Cambridge’s young thespians must shoulder to ensure they give a lasting performance. 

Throughout show week, the cast of “The Drowsy Chaperone” has been hard at work ironing out imperfections in their performances during a rigorous rehearsal schedule, which went from 3:45 to 8 p.m. on school nights and from 10 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m. on Saturdays. 

The cast of “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

On Saturday, rehearsal went from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., said junior Avery Sever.  

“Weekend rehearsals are always exhausting because it’s a lot of dancing and full runs,” Sever said, “but it’s always fun to hang out with that group of people.” 

On a scale of one to 10 – with ten being absolutely stressed and one being not so stressed – Sever said her stress is at a “seven or eight” regarding the showings. 

“Since so many mistakes can happen in live theater, it can get very nerve-wracking,” she said. 

Amid these lengthy rehearsals, as students first and cast members second, all were still responsible for homework and preparing for upcoming tests. 

“I [had] a math test this week that I hadn’t studied for because of late night rehearsals,” Sever said. 

Senior Grace Kelso, who is cast as the play’s namesake, had both an economics test and a precalculus quiz the week of the show. Kelso, on the other hand, hasn’t felt the intense rehearsal schedule.  

“Our director has been very good with rehearsal times and only just this week is making us go longer than normal, since it’s show week,” Kelso said. 

Kelso as the Drowsy Chaperone.

Homework has proven to be a challenge with these long rehearsals for other cast members, though. 

Sophomore Madison Joe, who is in ensemble, said she usually had homework after rehearsal. Despite this, it only took her — at most — an hour and a half to complete it, she said. 

As for Kelso, homework only takes her 30 minutes (depending on the workload), she said. This is because she finishes it during the school day, knocking it out during class and lunch. That way, she doesn’t have much homework to do at home after a long day of school and rehearsals. 

This is one tactic some of the cast, Joe included, adopted so they could spend the rest of the evening after school focused on rehearsals while simultaneously not neglecting school. 

“I study throughout the day for upcoming tests so I feel prepared,” Joe said. 

Another tactic they use is staying up later to complete homework, making the most of their time awake. 

Since it usually takes Sever about an hour to finish homework, “sometimes that means I have to say up a bit later than I should, but it’s not too bad,” she said. “I feel like I can manage my time well.” 

Proper time management is the heart of balancing a rigorous rehearsal schedule and the daily demands of school. With this balance, the cast of “The Drowsy Chaperone” could focus on the play, which they had been rehearsing and preparing since first semester. 

Mackenzie Marks as Kitty.

“I have less time to do homework at night, but it’s worth it,” Joe said. “[Ensemble is] stressful but fun.” 

For Kelso, earning the role of the Drowsy Chaperone was very exciting. 

“Playing this role has been such a rollercoaster,” she said. “I had to dedicate a lot of my time during winter break to my role because I wanted it to be the best it could possibly be. Overall, it has paid off a lot and I’m happy with where I am about this role. I’m still nervous about it but… I’ve had so much fun with my role.”