Bring It On Brought It On

Non-cheerleaders learn how to do breathtaking stunts for this year’s ASMP

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Dorothy Lamont, Lotus Moments Photography

Truman High School’s cheerleading squad is primed to win a national cheer title. But when the Cheerleading Captain from Truman High School, Campbell (played by junior Lizzie Venezia), suddenly gets redistricted to a nearby school, Jackson High School, things start to get suspicious, especially when the new captain for Truman is Eva (played by senior Kaelin McElduff), who wouldn’t have made the team if it weren’t for Campbell’s help and motivation at tryouts.

As a result of Campbell’s desire to make it to nationals regardless of what school she is at, she persuades her new school to make their own cheerleading team and with the help of Danielle (sophomore Alex Humphreys), Jackson High School makes it to nationals to compete against Truman. But competing against old friends at Truman causes Campbell to have ambivalent feelings.

NVOT put on its annual musical Bring it On, inspired by the 2001 film of the same name, during the first weekend of March: March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. But with a bit of a twist and a lot of drama, this year’s musical production was very different from ones in previous years. Because of its intense and demanding cheer stunts, vocals, and choreography, the musical has been recognized as a daunting one. “It is infamous for how hard it is. We were told by famous directors at [a] college level that even they wouldn’t dare choose this musical,” said senior Aiden Choi, who played Randall.

“The dance was insane and completely foreign to me,” senior Sari Abolafia, who played Nautica, added. But in the end, they all are “so proud of doing such a good job on this production, considering how difficult it was.”

A show this difficult required a tremendous commitment from all involved. According to Abolafia, when calculated, the cast and crew of the play spent a total of 286 hours singing, dancing, and acting.

Senior and crew member Basil Tweedy agreed; “The play experience is a lot of work. In the beginning, you just work on one thing, but in the end, it all comes together and creates a really good show.”

The crew worked tirelessly on pulling the whole show together and making it great. “I was at every rehearsal with the cast,” said Tweedy, who worked as the stage manager. “It was my responsibility to keep the actors on task while taking notes and collaborating with other department heads.” He, along with the rest of light and sound crew, also played a huge part in creating the magic on stage: “During the show, I have to call lighting and projection cues. So, I have the light board operator next to me clicking the button when I said so and the projectionist backstage on a headset listening to me tell him when to go.”

But what was so memorable and remarkable was the connection that the cast had with the theme of Bring it On. The play’s plot, which was about “enjoying high school and not taking anything too seriously so that you can just ‘enjoy the trip’… Really resonated with me,” said Abolafia.

Venezia said, “being in a show about high schoolers, by high schoolers” is special and made her feel more secure and easier to perform.  

Overall, the play was very successful as almost all of the seats in the large auditorium were filled up during each of the three days of the show. But an experience this successful was also a little bittersweet. Abolafia said, “I loved sharing our art with the community, but at the same time, it’s like losing a part of me because it’s over after months of work.”

“I’m sad now that it’s over. I’m so proud of what we have to show the community, but not spending my afternoons in M hall now is truly heart-wrenching,” said Venezia.