Directing StageTime Theatre for the first time can be a difficult task, especially when choosing a musical comedy where your oldest actor is in seventh grade. But JHS Senior Clara Hogan has taken on this challenge as director for Bugsy Malone Jr., a silly show about 1920s gangsters written just for young actors.
Hogan chose Bugsy Malone because when she was in first or second grade she said she was “too scared to audition” for the show, but once she saw the live performance immediately regretted not being part of it because it looked so fun with catchy songs and entertaining scenes including one that features a silly string fight.
Hogan was reminded of this memory when StageTime producer Janet McLaughlin approached her about directing.
There are nearly 50 children cast in Bugsy Malone, and many in StageTime for the first time, and Hogan said they all seem to be really enjoying themselves.
Directing has been hard, she said, but not unexpectedly so. The most challenging part is having to make all the decisions from wardrobe to hair to set to choreography and not having someone else to defer to for the answers. However, Hogan likes having that control and seeing her vision become a reality.
She is also thankful for the help of others including McLaughlin, assistant director Richy Lainson and stage manager Megan Rowe, and her mother, Cindy Hogan, who has helped with dance choreography.
Cindy Hogan has choreographed the JHS fall musicals and Clara Hogan said she is especially helpful with the larger group numbers to create something that allows the kids to be able to sing while dancing.
Bugsy Malone will be presented Thursday through Saturday, March 28-30 at the Chewelah Civic Center. There will be a 7 p.m. showing on Thursday and Friday, and a 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. showing on Saturday.
Advance tickets can be purchased for $5 at Akers United Drug, Valley Drug, and The Independent or for $7 at the door.
The Bugsy Malone book is written by Alan Parker and the music and lyrics are written by Paul Williams.
Hogan has not been part of a StageTime production since eighth grade but before that she was involved off and on since her first role, a speaking part, in Babes in Toyland as a first grader in 2002. Since being in high school, she has participated in every JHS fall musical and takes theatre class as well. She was most recently seen in the JHS fall 2012 musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
Hogan likes musicals the best because she loves to sing and dance but it is an extra challenge as director to be in charge of musical direction as well, she said.
However, Hogan’s favorite role was not in a musical but when she was cast in the 2012 spring comedy, The Foreigner. She said it is probably her favorite because she heard so many positive comments about her performance.
“It was probably the most and best feedback I got from any show,” Hogan said.
Hogan enjoys the atmosphere of theatre, especially during set-in and crash week right before the show opens because that is when they get closest as a cast all working together on one common goal.
She also likes the type of people she gets to work with.
“Theatre kids are so accepting and I always feel really accepted by everyone,” Hogan said.
Yet, she does not plan to pursue acting after high school. She will be attending Everett Community College to experience somewhere different but has yet to decide a major.
In addition to theatre, Hogan has worked part-time at Akers United Drug for two years and participates in JHS dance class. She is the daughter of Kim and Cindy Hogan and has one older brother, Platon.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: The main cast for Bugsy Malone: Top row (L-R) Robby Thompson as Fat Sam, Gavin Parrott as Bugsy Malone, Jimmy Kirry as Dandy Dan. Bottom row (L-R) Haven Rainer as Tallulah, Lilly Kirry as Blousey Brown, and Harmony Kuk as Louella.