School gears up for Fame the Musical

Herschel Girls school pupils rehearsing for Fame the Musical.

Herschel Girls school in Claremont is getting ready to stage Fame the Musical, from Tuesday April 23.

Drama teacher Sarah McArthur and head of drama Tessa Steyn have been preparing the girls for two months for the musical, which is set in 1980s New York.

“This play is about a group of talented young hopefuls, who all want to be actors, singers, dancers, musicians, and they are all at this Fame school for performing arts,” said Ms McArthur.

Fame the Musical was adapted from the original 1980 movie, Fame, and was adapted and developed by David de Silva from the book by Jose Fernandez, with lyrics by Jacques Levy and music by Steve Margoshes.

Twenty-five Herschel Girls pupils will be part of the cast, and they will be joined by boys from Bishops, Westerford High School, Cedar House school and Wynberg Boys.

Herschel Grade 12 pupil Josi Beare plays the strict headmistress, Ms Sherman.

“She starts off as an authoritative figure at the school, though as the play progresses, she becomes more human, there is a gentle side to her,” she said.

Josi has appeared in other Herschel productions – Love Across the Universe and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Ariyaana Cader plays Ms Myers, the drama teacher who tries to get her students to tap into their emotions.

Ariyaana enjoyed working with her fellow pupils on the play.

“It was very busy, but we all get along well as a cast and the teachers have been amazing,” she said.

Anna Grieve plays the big dreamer, Carmen Diaz.

“She wants to excel, she wants to succeed, she wants to be famous and go to Los Angeles,” she said.

Grade 11 Olivia Doidge plays one of the main characters, Serena Katz, an actress.

“In the beginning she is insecure and energetic, just wants to act though does not have a lot of support from her parents,” she said.

The cast has been rehearsing several dance styles for the musical, including hip hop, ballet and contemporary dance.

This play will be one of Ms Steyn’s last – she will be leaving the school at the end of the year, capping a 25-year career there.

“This probably is my last big production at Herschel, but I don’t like to think of it like that,” she said.

“It is always an energising happiness to work with the girls who give so much of their passion, intelligence, gifts and talents, but most importantly their hearts.”

Fame the Musical is on from Tuesday April 23 to Friday April 26 at Herschel Girls’ at 7pm. Tickets cost R140 and are available online at Quicket.