The school newspaper of Oakville High School

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The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

Headlining ‘Hairspray’

Oakville senior stars as lead in SLUH’s musical
Lieberoff+has+been+doing+theater+since+2015.
Lieberoff has been doing theater since 2015.

Hannah Liberoff (12) cautiously opens the email she has been eagerly waiting for: the cast list for SLUH’s production of “Hairspray.” As she scans the list for her name, Lieberoff finds it next to Tracy Goodman’s. She trembles with excitement as reality hits her: her hardwork and commitment has paid off — she’s landed the lead.

St. Louis University High School’s upcoming production of “Hairspray” premiers Nov. 9-12. Cast members have a fairly quick turnaround for this production, as auditions took place at the end of August. 

“They didn’t give you any material or anything until you walked in the room,” Lieberoff said. “So the first day, you walked in and they gave you a song that Tracy sings.”

But singing is not the only aspect of this intense audition process.

“And you went to dance and did a dance that they taught you, and then the next day we did sides,” Lieberoff said.

Sides are short segments of speaking lines. After actors completed their sides, a dance and a song, they were called back for a second audition if casting directors found them possibly suitable for a role.

“Then it was callback day and they had you sing, read and dance for the person that they thought you could be,” Lieberoff said. 

Casting directors assigned the lead role of “Hairspray” to Lieberoff after her callback audition. Just a few days after she heard this news, rehearsals commenced.

“On our call sheet, we get them every Sunday for the next two weeks and it tells you what you’re going to be working on,” Lieberoff said.

Lieberoff has rehearsal Sunday through Friday from either 3:30-6:30 p.m. or 4:00-6:30 p.m. Then, when the show enters its “tech week” (the week leading up to opening night), rehearsals will be every day from 3:30-10:00 p.m. 

“It was very much an adjustment because rehearsals are very long, but I have learned pretty good time management skills,” Lieberoff said.

Thankfully, Lieberoff has much experience with dedicating lots of time to a theater production. She has never participated in OHS theater; however, she has been a part of Muny teens for several years and has also been cast in two Mehlville High School musicals.

“I haven’t watched any of my grades drop or bombed any tests since rehearsals started,” Lieberoff said, “and I’m using my free time very carefully.”

While a packed rehearsal schedule is common between all musical productions, this one is different in several ways.

“They teach you professionalism and..they’re not as on top of you as some shows have been for me in the past,” Lieberoff said.

While the student actors are left with a lot of responsibility, they’re rewarded for this with SLUH’s up-to-par technology and funds. 

“SLUH is a private school, so they don’t have a budget and so they can use big costume pieces and they can make their own, like we don’t have to wear other people’s clothes,” Lieberoff said. “And there’s a turntable on the stage.”

As the performance date gets closer, Lieberoff urges everyone to attend the musical from Nov. 9-12; tickets are $10. 

“I think it’s going to be really good,” Lieberoff said. “Everyone was picked for their role perfectly and everyone who’s in the show wants to work really hard and has the drive to make the show good.”

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About the Contributor
Ava Chancellor, Editor-in-Chief
I'm Ava, and I am a senior at OHS and the Managing Editor-in-Chief of The Prowl. In my free time, I like to read (especially historical fiction), go shopping, watch Charmed and work out. I love to travel, go to concerts and try new restaurants with my friends and family. I am planning to go to a university on the East or West Coast and study political science, music and Spanish.

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