Behind the Musical

Lights, sound and backstage crew share their experiences working on the Spring Musical.


Aliyah Lima

Ryan Sadowski and Mahir Rana work at the sound board to prepare for the Spring musical.

Rida Kadri and Aliyah Lima

During the first week of March, the students and staff at JFKMHS get excited for their annual spring musical. Every year, the audience sees a beautifully performed show from the house, admiring the cast for their production. But what does it take to execute a seemingly effortless show? Students from the cast and crew of the upcoming show, “The Wizard of Oz,” shared their experiences. 

Kyle Casem, choir teacher at JFK, serves as the vocal director for the spring musical. This is his second year teaching at Kennedy and being part of the theater department’s staff. Since December, Mr. Casem has been working diligently on teaching the cast members the iconic songs from “The Wizard of Oz.” He shared that teaching the familiar “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was a natural process as Anaina Vineeth, the lead, “took the song and interpreted it really well”. 

 “Hearing all of the musical elements come together” was the most rewarding part of the production, Mr. Casem said. Watching the “10 billion moving parts: the lights, the sound, the pit musicians, [and] the stage crew” put together the entire show has been so fulfilling for Mr. Casem and he’s done a great job on his second production at JFK. 

Mahir Rana, senior and head-sound at JFK, shares his experience of working on his third musical production. He has spent “40 to 50 hours” on “The Wizard of Oz,” “staying after school from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m,” Rana said. With mic checks and switches throughout the show, the sound techs have been observing and working intently to ensure a smooth performace. 

Another big part of the production is the stage crew. Senior stage manager, Vishwa Patel, delegated the rest of the crew to  move the sets for each scene in a timely manner. Stage crew works behind the curtain to bring the show to life. From managing props, set pieces and costume changes, they are the finishing piece in putting everything together. 

“The Wizard of Oz” opens Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 7 p.m. The Torch wants to give a special shout out to the cast and crew for their hard work and dedication. Come out to see the show Thursday, Friday or Saturday!