Clearfield Drama Club announces “Anastasia” as spring musical


Nicolette Maines has been cast as Anastasia in the spring musical.

Jaycee M. Wood, Staff Writer

The Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School’s Drama Club is holding “Anastasia, the Musical” as the 2022 spring musical. The show dates are April 21, 22, and 23 in the school’s auditorium. This show’s director is Mr. Switala, the music director is Mr. Rothrock, and the choreographer is Sam Potter.

“Anastasia” features a young duchess named Anastasia, whose palace home is invaded by the Bolsheviks, she is shot, and she and her family are presumed dead. The Bolsheviks now reign power over Russia, which the people are against. Everyone is hopeful when Anastasia is rumored to be alive. A street sweeper named Anya resides in St. Petersburg suffering from memory loss. With the help of her wanted con friends, Vlad and Dmitry, Anya slowly realizes that she is Anastasia. Anya runs into Gleb, a general for the Bolsheviks whose father was the one who attacked Anastasia’s family, and the two end up falling in love. However, Dmitry is also in love with Anya. The bitter, grieving grandmother of Anastasia, the Dowager Empress, sees Anya at a ballet concert. Could Anya be the long-lost granddaughter the Dowager Empress has been searching for?

Music director and teacher, Mr. Switala, believes his decision to present “Anastasia” was the right decision to make. For instance, he notes, “When our 2020 show Aida was cancelled due to COVID, we knew that we would be finding a different show to perform the next time around. When Anastasia came available, it was a great option for our school and was just recently on Broadway so I thought it would be a challenge for us.” The Drama Club will be working extra hard towards this show because it is more difficult.

Casting a show has its ups and downs depending on who the actor is, and it can be difficult letting an actor down after they’ve prepared for a role they did not receive. When asked what the casting process was like, Mr. Switala responded, “All interested students had to audition and sing a song selection of his/her choice and read a monologue. These were done for myself and our music director Mr. Rothrock.” The audition process is often times daunting for the actors, and Mr. Switala and Mr. Rothrock will usually have to disappoint someone.

Since COVID-19 shut down the 2020 spring musical, Drama Club is eager to finally perform a musical instead of a play. To clarify, Mr. Switala expresses, “It will definitely be a fun return to the stage for a musical. We have had a couple plays, but not musicals since COVID, so we are excited to bring musicals back to our stage.”

Shows obviously require some level of skill and preparation, however, theatrical spirit and the commitment to a role is enough to make a show fun to perform and fun to watch. According to the expectations of Mr. Switala, “We are always looking forward to providing a fun experience for our students. If we do that, the show aspects will take care of themselves. We are a family and always want to give our family members an enjoyable experience!” The directors believe that the mentality of the actors can really impact the performance of a show, so they make it a priority that the actors enjoy themselves.

Usually, the same students audition for every show in Drama Club, however, it is highly encouraged that anyone in grades 9-12 are welcome to audition. To explain, Mr. Switala emphasizes, “Everyone should try it at least once to see if it is something they would enjoy. The theatre isn’t for everyone, but I think a lot of students would be surprised how much fun it is to be performing live theatre. And we are a “no cut” group – everyone who wants to participate will be cast in the show.”

The spring musical, “Anastasia”, is going to be a challenge for the Drama Club, but when the process of rehearsing and performing includes having fun, the nerves seem to fade eventually. Everyone involved in the performance of “Anastasia the Musical” highly encourages anyone reading to come see the show on April 21, 22, or 23 in the Clearfield High School auditorium. Also, it is encouraged that readers think about participating in a show just to see if it sparks an interest.

The cast of “Anastasia” and their roles.