by Grace Fields, Knightly News staff editor
Every year, Thomas Dale High School puts on a big show of the year with a usually well known musical production. This year the show picked was “Aida” with lyrics by Tim Rice and compositions by Elton John. “Aida” was indeed Dale’s largest show of the year, having months to prepare and a cast composed of hundreds of students & faculty members.
Thomas Dale’s production of “Aida” was directed by theatre teacher Sarah Roquemore & senior Sophia Anthony. Starring “Aida” is Shayla Winn as Aida and Brayden Paitsel as Radames. Other cast members include Corey Norman, Alex Hague, and Jasmine Hawkins.
“Aida” is a story about an enslaved Nubian princess of the same name who gets caught in an affair with Egyptian soldier Radames who is set to marry Amneris, the Pharaoh’s daughter. Aida is forced to choose between her heart and the responsibility that she faces as the leader of her people as her forbidden relationship with Radames blossoms.
The one thing I have to say right off the bat about this production is about how much I loved the set. Unlike usual Dale fashion, the set of this show remained fairly minimalistic and small.
This aspect was favorable to me because usually, while watching a Thomas Dale production, I find myself looking everywhere but the actors and story being told since the sets are so bold. With this production, however, they relied mainly on a wooden stairway, a large bit of white fabric, and lighting.
I hope that in the future Thomas Dale continues to use this minimalistic technique.
Specific things I enjoyed about this show were the ensemble, the strong vocals from Shayla Winn, and the music.
If I were to be completely honest, I personally favored the ensemble out of everything else in the show. They gave off the most emotion without even having to say anything and they were very entertaining to watch. I wish I could say the same about the main characters.
The main cast was fantastic, though. I’ve seen these people perform at least once in all of my years at Dale, it was just the characters that didn’t really reel me in so to speak.
Amazing actors. Okay characters.
However, a few things I disliked about “Aida” was the story in general, the fact that I couldn’t really hear a few characters above most of the music being played (probably mic problems?), and how the characters were written. These were small setbacks, though, and I still found joy in each one listed above.
Overall, I think “Aida” was a success. The show’s first running got a standing ovation and every performance had a large audience.
I loved the effort the actors, ensemble, orchestra, and production team put into the show. The actual show was a bit off putting for me. I’d rate Thomas Dale’s “Aida” 3 stars out of 5.