Student-Run Musical ‘Young Frankenstein’ Comes to Life

Student-Run Musical Young Frankenstein Comes to Life


Paideia students gathered to rehearse, sing, and dance, putting on this year’s student-run musical, “Young Frankenstein,” a comedy about a doctor who visits his notorious grandfather’s Transelvanian lab and becomes fixated on reviving the dead. The musical opened with a preview on Aug. 23, then ran from Aug. 24-26.

Owen Vaccaro ’24, Sam McGhee ’24, Maia Pope ’24, Davi Leal ’25, and Reed Guthrie ’24 headed the musical, delivering simultaneously dramatic and funny solos, including one in which Pope sang a ballad to her deceased boyfriend.  

Behind the scenes, Celia Reed ’24, Brodie Gross ’24, and Ari Goodmark ’24 directed the musical; Amelia Darling ’24 and Bridget Heckler ’25 produced the show, and various juniors and seniors formed the pit conducted by Gross. 

The show stood out in talent and content, but especially shined with regards to the set, which perfectly set the scene of Transylvania by depicting classic European landscapes and buildings. The dimmed lighting, drifting fog, and flashing lights gave the show an eerie feeling and mysterious aura. Paideia’s tech crew, headed by Anna Cook ’24 and comprising nearly 30 students, worked tirelessly beginning at the end of July and throughout August to create the set and effects. The tech crew worked six hours a day six days a week to create the set, later changing to four hour days when they began working alongside the actors. According to Cook, the people who work on both the set and the shows end up devoting from 150 to 200 hours per musical. 

Midway through August, distaster nearly struck when cast and crew started testing positive for Covid. According to Cook, “during musicals we spend a lot of time very close to each other and a lot of roles like lighting, sound, and some stage managers don’t have back up people, so if that person gets sick we don’t have anyone who can do their job.”

Regardless of all that, the cast and crew were able to pull off an incredible production. Says Cook, “With this musical I think that everyone is proud of how we all did that without adults. For this show specifically, it was very tech heavy and we all put in a lot of work that we should be proud of. Also, this show was most everyone’s first time in a position of leadership, and I think everyone did really well.”  

Says Vaccaro, “We had so much fun putting together this show, although it was a ton of work! We are happy at the amount of people who came and watched! We really appreciate it. We hope everyone who watched it had as much of a good time as we had doing it!”

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