“Brigadoon” cast holds open auditions for USD 373 staff

Taylor Tasaka

More stories from Taylor Tasaka


Math teacher Jennifer Horn sits with her daughter at rehearsals for Brigadoon. This year, district staff members were invited to participate in the production.

This year, the drama department opened their auditions to the USD 373 staff and their kin because of the demand for a larger cast in “Brigadoon”. This change attracted staff member Jennifer Horn and her daughter, Ronnie Horn.

“I was planning to audition all along. I love interacting with students outside of the classroom. One of my favorite things about being a teacher is doing extra things; being a club sponsor, being a class sponsor, going to sporting events or other performances,” Jennifer said. “I like that part of being a teacher and supporting the kids interests. It’s a fun way to get to know the kids I haven’t had in class,”

Playing “Tommy” in “Brigadoon”, sophomore Michael Smith has never worked with a cast with such a wide range. Smith finds benefits in working with Ronnie and any other potential cast members.
“They [the community] see us performing and they see what we put on a stage. Nobody sees what happens behind the stage; running your lines, getting the set ready, all the details. So getting the community involved really helps them respect all the hard work that goes into the shows,” Smith said.

Since the cast of “Brigadoon” is larger than what the drama department is used to, the idea of an open audition was proposed. Since hearing about the audition, Horn has thought about the opportunity for not only her, but her daughter.

“I had asked Mr. Parker this summer about how he was going to fill a whole big cast like “Brigadoon” and he was spitballin ideas. I said that if you opened it up to middle schoolers, my daughter would be interested in maybe pursuing musical theatre and she hasn’t had a lot of opportunities that plug into doing that,” Jennifer said. “So when he asked the staff of USD 373 about the auditions, I said said ‘Yes! I’m interested.’ So then he asked if my daughter was still interested. It is everything she loves to do: dance, sing and be on stage.”

Open auditions or not, Smith believes that the bond that develops through teamwork never fails. With a unique look on the way the cast is, Smith sees more than just new cast members.

“I always think that the drama department will always be a family. I’ve played multiple sports growing up but I’ve never been more close to anybody than the people involved with drama. These people are the people I can count on,” Smith said. “Even with the adults, we’re not changing anything we’re just adding new family members,”