Cast begins rehearsal for “Hunchback of Notre Dame” musical

By Mary Summers, Chloe Brown, and Lexie Emenheiser

Staff Writers

Red Lion Area Senior High School has big plans for their musical which is a similar version of the Disney film. This year, the cast of this musical will not stop until it is perfect.

Director, choreographer, and teacher, Cari Ayala gave a lot of insight of what is going on for this year’s musical. Dr. Ayala stated that she runs auditions, guides the cast when acting, controls blocking, which is telling the actors where to stand, and oversees all other directors in the musical. 

The other directors in the musical consist of the pit, music, set, costume, sound, light, producers, props, and makeup.  

“This version is a lot darker than the Disney version,” Dr. Ayala said. “ ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is about a dramatic tale full of romance, action, and drama.”

The main role in the play is Quasimodo (senior Mitchel Wise). Quasimodo is Frollo’s nephew. He is deaf, has a giant humpback, and a giant wart that covers one of his eyes, which makes him unique and stand out from the rest of society.

A beautiful gypsy dancer named Esmeralda (junior, Izabella Schopf), is a charming and fascinating role in the play. Schopf plays a strong, independent, and a very empowering female role. There is romance throughout the scenes, which calls for an eventful musical.

Phoebus (senior Logan Smith), the captain of the Notre Dame guard,  is a bold and confident character who plays another main role in the musical that engages the audience. 

Clopein, Queen of the Gypsies (senior Sarah Foess), typically played by a male, has now been changed to a female roll to show Foess’s acting abilities and dancing talent. Though she isn’t supposed to be a dancer, she will be the lead feature dancer because of her past experience with dance.

Archdeacon Claude Frollo (senior Micah Sumwalt), in charge of the Notre Dame cathedral, is the story’s antagonist. He is passionate and driven, but his feelings contradict with his thoughts, which calls for violence throughout some parts of the musical.

Practice is run every Monday through Thursday from 3pm to 5pm. With the exception of Saturday, Ayala will hold practices with specific cast members who they need to focus on for that scene. Towards the show dates, they will have mandatory practices that last a lot longer and will focus on the entire musical itself.  

“There are about 65 kids from the school who are acting in the musical, which doesn’t even count for the ones who do activities behind the scenes,” said Dr. Ayala. The other kids who participate in the musical are the kids who help with costumes, props, the stage crew, makeup, pit, and of course, choir.

“A part of the choir this year is a bunch of community members who take the stage alongside the kids to create a loud, strong, symphonic sound,” Dr. Ayala said.

 Members of this adult chorus can vary from teachers, parents, and they are trying to get members from York Symphony.  

Show dates will be March 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the 2019-2020 school year. “The cast, crew, and members of the district invite everyone to come out and watch it.” Dr. Ayala said.


Mr. Wise, the musical director conducts the choir in the musical on Monday, November 18, 2019, in the Auditorium at Red Lion High School. This will influence their performance on the days of the final show.

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