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Rapped Up and ready to go: student-produced musical hits the theater

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Between “Hamilton” taking our campus by storm, and the huge Broadway hit “Into the Woods” debuting on the mainstage, theater has become the talk of the hallways this year. The Acting V students added to the excitement with their newest creation: a student-written, produced, and performed rap musical entitled “Rapped Up.”

The story follows rapper Mike Carson as he rises, and eventually falls, from fame. Throughout the show, you get to know both his family members and friends and watch how those relationships shape him and his future.

The entire class worked together to create an entirely unique production. Brian Haimes, who plays the lead, originally proposed the idea.

Senior Diego de la Espriella plays Ben, the bartender of the bar where the majority of the show takes place. Espriella described the process of creating a show from scratch as “hectic.” Each day the cast decided what they wanted to happen in the next scene, whether that involved introducing a new character or advancing the plot. They would write a song and dialogue for the scene that night and start editing it the next day. Blocking began once all of the writing had been finalized.

“The most challenging part for me was writing a rap. We all decided that it would be nice for me to have one, and I’ve never written one before, so it was fun,” Espriella said.

Other cast members include seniors Felicia Reich, Delaney Lovejoy, Farrah Sklar, Laura Hart, Natalie Navarro, Rachael Banach, Emily Grossuti and junior Dylan Erdelyi. Espriella said they have all grown closer because of the experience.

The show debuted April 30 in the studio theater, and initially only ran through Saturday night. However, due to the popularity of the show, director Mrs. Christina Wright added a Sunday matinee show to allow more students to see the production.

Junior Sofia Ubilla saw the opening show and was impressed. “I thought the fact that the show was completely original was absolutely insane,” she said. “All of the actors were incredible and they all did a phenomenal job.”

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