Robbin DeMeester announces future productions of the FHC Theater Department


Did you enjoy this year’s production of Little Mermaid and Anne of Green Gables? Did you love this year’s Random Acts of Talent and the Improv show? Well, then you must be eager to discover next year’s show, and some dates and facts about the other productions.

The Improv show will take place October 8th.  Theater teacher Robbin DeMeester is very eager for her first show of the year, especially since an old student who introduced the idea of the Improv team will be returning.

“I’m excited about John Donovan being back,” DeMeester said. “The Improv team was his baby, as he started it years ago and now he’s back to direct.”

Some other dates for show are: Tony Awards on April 28th, RAT on January 2nd, fall play on November 10-12, and the musical on March 16-18.

What DeMeester is most excited for in the fall play is how there will be a different ending for each show every night. The play this year will be a murder mystery and each night, the audience chooses the ending. The cast will be rehearsing any scenario of who the murderer is. There will be certain characters that they can choose at intermission to be the murderer. It’s the game of Clue, but it’s put to life onstage, and just like the game of Clue, whoever is playing it chooses who committed a crime. So whoever the majority of the audience chooses, that particular character will be the murderer and the cast will do that ending. The cast this year will be made up of approximately 13 people, so you can imagine competition for audition will be stiff.

“Both the play and the musical will have really small cast, which is going to be really nice for us to be a whole family,” began Junior and Student Director Emily Toppen. “[When] doing the play and the musical, we are always a family, but it’s going to be really cool this year with such a small cast so we can get much closer.”

When deciding the shows for next year, Kyle Black and DeMeester talk together about the types of shows that they want to show that would be different from what they did the previous year. What DeMeester tries to do when she plans a student’s four year experience at FHC is think about the plays and musicals that will be a good mix of genres for that student to experience. She does not take it year by year, but she does think about the experience of theater for her students. In those four years, she would like them to experience a little of everything such as a classical play, a production that is a little mysterious or sad, a comedy, and mix it up with the plays and musicals. DeMeester wants to get away from anything Disney and anything youthful. 

“I’m really looking forward to the mystery aspect that next year has in store for us,” said Sutton Steensma, a freshman currently  serving as a theater dance captain. “It’s all brand new shows that we have never done before and it’s going to be an amazing learning experience. I am honored to be a dance captain along with Marc Rabideau for next year’s musical and we can’t wait to learn and teach the fresh choreography to our cast members.”

Next year’s musical is going to be Little Shop of Horrors. The cast is set at 201-225 members, so competition will be stiff. However, the musical choice for this year really sets the theme of the year along with the play. Members of the theater department are excited to see the outcome and have everything come alive.

“I’m excited about the stuff we’re doing and the things we’re doing a little bit different, and Kyle becoming more involved in directing a little bit more,” DeMeester said. “It’s going to be a super fun season. It’s going to be a very different season, which is what I want. I don’t want to repeat last year and have some of the same things. I want everything to feel and be different and I feel like we have achieved that with our show selections. I’m excited about it.”

Something else DeMeester will be changing up and adding in is Encore. This was DeMeesters idea. She wanted an opportunity to incorporate the Theater 1 and Theater 2 classes in an actual performance that the school does as one of our seasons of shows. She thought it would be nice to do snippets from every show that the theater program will do next year, so then if someone misses a show, they can come to the encore and see a little bit of each show.

“There’s going to be the Improv team, the fall play, the musical, RAT, and then something from the theater classes. We have to get the price finalized still, but [the event will] be right before homecoming in the school’s auditorium for one night.”

With all the amazing shows that are set to be put on, next year will definitely be a great one for FHC’s theater department and all the students involved.

“My favorite part about the theater department is the people and the swirl of imagination and creativity that comes from the beautiful people,” Sutton said. “[They are the ones that] make our FHC productions possible.”