Oxford High Theater Arts Guild presents ‘The SpongeBob Musical’ in Oxford
By Alyssa Schnugg
Are you ready, Oxford?
SpongeBob SquarePants, the pineapple that lives under the sea, comes to Oxford High School this month, along with all his underwater friends, in “The SpongeBob Musical.”
Early access to reserved tickets is available through the OHS Theater Arts Guild Major Patrons Program. General tickets go on sale February 15.
John Davenport, the OHS drama teacher, was first introduced to “The SpongeBob Musical” by a former student during a trip to Chicago a few years ago.
“I thought I didn’t want to see a SpongeBob SquarePants musical,” Davenport said. “I have never seen animated series. I didn’t know anything about that.”
However, after watching the musical, he quickly became a fan.
“It was the most enjoyable and outrageous theater experience I’ve had in a long time,” he said. “I was smiling all the time.”
Once the musical became available for open productions, he knew it was the kind of show his students would love to perform and any member of the public would love to watch.
“We have a strong group of female voices in our student body right now,” he said. “So I wanted something that could showcase that, but also something that was going to be contemporary and fresh.”
Watching an interview with the production’s original creator, Tina Landau, Davenport noted that Landau said she would like to see a woman in the role of SpongeBob.
“I said, ‘this is it,'” he said.
Senior Tacie Mott has been selected to play SpongeBob SquarePants.
Mott, like her drama teacher, never watched the “SpongeBob SquarePants” TV show when she was younger. She has since watched the show in preparation for her role.
His biggest challenge was learning to react like the stupid sponge would react.
“When we started rehearsing, I took it in a very literal way, a way a normal human would react to lines,” she said. “I had to realize that SpongeBob isn’t very smart, so he has to take things in a happier, non-human way.”
Everett Heuer plays the grumpy, cocky Squidward Q. Tentacles, a role he hoped to get when he auditioned. He grew up watching the TV series.
“He’s the one to keep it real,” Heuer said of his character. “Everyone is really happy and giddy. He is the character with whom we identify the most. »
Heuer said his biggest challenge was keeping Squidward, Squidward without being able to rely on animation.
“On the show, they can animate his expressions,” he said. “Onstage you have to be tall, which is not a defining trait of Squidward on the show. So trying to be tall but also trying to be Squidward, it’s hard to find that middle ground.
Miles Caradine is the show’s student director, working with Davenport and creating costumes and sets.
The colorful costumes and sets are a big undertaking for the theater team, but a challenge that Caradine accepts.
“This show is unlike any other show we’ve done in a while because it doesn’t really have to relate to real life. It just has to give that larger than life cartoon feeling,” a- he said, “So anything that catches your eye can work here. It doesn’t have to be realistic at all. It’s just having fun with it.”
“The SpongeBob Musical” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. from February 24 to 26 in the Fine Arts Building on the OHS campus.
Tickets are on presale for Major Patrons this week on the ticketing site. To become a Grand Patron, type the words “Grand Patron” in the presale access code box in the upper right corner.
Being a major patron gives the first choice of desired seats before tickets are made available to the general public. Each ticket is $15 and major patrons will be listed in the poster for this year’s musical production.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on February 15. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and are available on the ticketing site.