Kimberton Waldorf to perform a ‘thoroughly modern' musical

Kimberton Waldorf students Kyle Kuzman and Maggie Hite as Jimmy Smith and Mille Dillmount, the lead roles in "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Photo by Barry Taglieber

The high school students at the Kimberton Waldorf School are working hard to get ready for their production of the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” which opens this week.

A musical set in the 1920s, it aims to appeal to all theater-goers as fun, honest and thoroughly entertaining. The musical is a story of a small-town girl, Millie Dillmont, who comes to New York City in 1922 searching for an adventure, new beginnings and her idea of modern love.

Director, and graduate of the Kimberton Waldorf School, James Corkum, chose this musical for a few reasons.

“The musical is always selected looking ahead to who we expect will be in the cast,” Corkum said. “For instance, this year I anticipated a lot of girls trying out – we have something like nine guys and 22 girls, I believe – so I picked Millie because it offered a lot for the girls.”

After doing Brigadoon last year, which is heavy, Corkum wanted to lighten it up this year.

“Millie also takes place in the 20s, and we haven’t done a show in the 20s before, so that was new and good,” Corkum said.

Also when choosing the musical, the set is always a consideration. At Kimberton Waldorf there is very little wing space, and no fly space. While the set is complicated, Corkum was able to simplify it and make it work.

According to Corkum, another reason that Millie was chosen was that many of the cast have some lines or solos, which gives them a moment to themselves.

The show was cast in November, and scripts were handed out, but rehearsals did not start until the beginning of January.

“This means we put on the musical in about or less than two months, which is a very short time,” Corkum said. “Most public schools have three to four months of rehearsing. We practice three times a week for about nine hours.” Corkum noted that they are practicing more now that they are in the stretch run.

“Many of the students have been acting and singing since first grade, which is one of the reasons putting a show on so fast is possible,” said Corkum.

More than 50 Kimberton Waldorf School students are involved in the production of the high school musical.

In addition to the cast, many high school, and middle school students are involved in the production with roles in the orchestra, stage crew, tech crew, costumes, stage building, make-up and hair.

“There are a number of parents who volunteer their time to help out, and it is all possible because of the enthusiasm the students have for putting the musical on,” said Corkum. “Although I carry a lot with the musical, I lean heavily on, and am supported by the parents who do a wonderful job with costumes, props, the production aspect and everything else that enables us to put on a quality show where the students can shine and feel proud of the work they put in, all supported by the parents along the way.”

The show dates and times are as follows: Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m., and March 1 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students.

The Kimberton Waldorf School is located at 410 West Seven Stars Road in Phoenixville.

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