It’s the best week of the year – a week of no school, no assignments, and no work – but every fall for a special group of students on a filthy, “jankety” stage, EM break is no time for rest. EM break is no break at all, in fact. While most Moorhead High School students spent the week relaxing, sleeping in, and watching Netflix, MHS Theatre’s cast of “Little Shop of Horrors” was hard at work.
You’d be amazed at how much sacredness a worn down auditorium in the little town of Moorhead, MN can hold, but I can assure you some of the best and most important moments in my life have happened on that stage, and during this “break”. In between hours of character development, choreography, vocals, sitz probes, costume fittings, haircuts, and blocking, bonds are created unlike any other, and important traditions are upheld.
This year, our week started with the ever-anticipated “Guys’ and Girls’ nights”. This tradition has been passed down over more years than I can remember, and this year did not disappoint. Bonding with some of my favorite ladies and celebrating our “WOMYN” seniors made this night one I’ll remember forever. Celebrating right away at the beginning of the week secured these bonds so early in the process, and made the entirety of the week even more fun.
The amount of fun we had over EM break was proportional to the sense of accomplishment we felt in finishing choreography and blocking and perfecting vocals. We spent up to ten hour days working hard to “grow” our talent, characters, and set. Our “roots” are “planted” deep in this program, and we worked hard for long days to make this show one that we’re proud of, and one that our alumni will be proud of too. We were determined to “leaf” everything we had on that stage until we “git it” right because we know the (quite literal) blood, sweat, and tears that are permanently a part of our theater from every artist who’s been lucky enough to perform in it. I think our alumni will be proud of how we’re “flower”ishing and continuing the legacy that is Moorhead High Theatre. (I’m sorry about the puns but come on, I had to.)
As much as EM “break” is exhausting, hard, and full of work, the amount of fun we have and connections we create over one short week are invigorating. Between pool parties, cast karaoke, homemade soup, throwback choreography, purple- painted- fingertips, Nerf battles, wobbling, vanilla- frosted- cars, sitz probes, alumni visits, honoring past shows, ah so ko, Duanes, and blanket forts, I’d say we might just be the luckiest cast in the world. And while the frosting may never come off my front windshield (thank you boys), while no one may ever be able to top Erhard’s German rendition of “Defying Gravity”, while Sarah and I always seem to be the last to Duanes, and while the boys may never admit to the womYn victory in our Nerf battle, I know that I will cherish these precious moments I get to spend with these people forever. I love my cast.
And “Suddenly”, it was over. The long days of more work and fun than I could ever begin to describe fade away, and “Suddenly” I only have one EM break left. . . Every year it seems like I have “seyMOUR” fun than I think possible, and every year I leave with a new sense of family, a new sense of cellblock partners in “crime”, a new ubuntu “tribe”, a new “Scream” squad. I am so unbelievably thankful for these experiences, and I cannot WAIT to unleash this show to the world in just three short weeks.
“Look out. . . Here comes Audrey II….”
(Forever Cell Block Girl, Terk’s Girl, Crystal)