Students unite to produce college’s first full-length musical

East Coast College rehearsals ahead of Chicago.

East Coast College rehearsals ahead of Chicago. - Credit: East Coast College

Staff at a coastal sixth form college have expressed pride as students prepare to take the stage for its first ever full-length musical.

And ahead of curtain up next week, Lowestoft Sixth Form College students have been working tirelessly to produce Chicago.

After missing out on live performances due to the pandemic, the students and their teachers took on a project bigger than ever before.

With the students encouraged to take on production of the performances to help broaden their experience by Performing Arts teachers Katy Beales, Guy Nottage and Beth Harris, they responded to take on new roles.

Students India Crittenden, Katie Orves, Chloe Utting, Briony Williamson, Duncan Hoare and Mia Coleman banded together to form the Chicago Production Team - forming the roles of stage manager, musical director, assistant directors and choreographers.

The Chicago Student Production Team.

The Chicago Student Production Team. L to R: Chloe Utting, Katie Orves, Duncan Hoare, Briony Williamson, India Crittenden and Mia Coleman. - Credit: East Coast College

They have secured the rights to the show, along with set design, costumes, lighting, organising rehearsals and creating the choreography.

With students from other departments also involved, photography student Laurel Barnard has captured promotional pictures and headshots, while creative media and film studies student Joshua Reid is developing his portfolio by shooting a teaser trailer.

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Briony Williamson, Performing Arts student and Chicago choreographer, said: “As a production team, we have all given up our own time.

"The rehearsal process has been enjoyable, but it has also been a lot of hard work due to the amount of time we have put in alongside our studies.

Chicago rehearsals.

Chicago rehearsals. - Credit: East Coast College

"I wanted to get involved with the production side of the show as I want to be a choreographer and I thought this would be a brilliant opportunity to give me experience in choreographing.”

The show will take to the stage next week - with three performances from April 6 to April 8.

More than 100 guests will fill the audience each night, with monies raised through ticket sales and programmes to be used by the department for future performances.

Chicago promotional photo

Chicago promotional photo. - Credit: East Coast College

Katy Beales, Lowestoft Sixth Form Performing Arts teacher, said: “We are so proud of our student production team and cast for working professionally, collaboratively and independently to produce this fantastic production.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all of the hard work that they have put in to make this show come to life!”