Senior Audrey Phillips is involved in studio dance and Drill Team, but she has never been involved in anything like this fall’s musical. Throughout the past 15 years she has choreographed multiple pieces for the Lancer Dancers, a duet, and a solo for herself. But choreographing for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a whole new experience.
Phillip’s usual choreographing process includes making formations, highlighting the strengths of her team and paying strict attention to the visual pleasure of the dance. But when offered the position of choreographing Putnam, the 17-year-old knew that this experience would be totally different than anything else she had ever done. For the musical comedy, Phillip’s has been working to coincide the choreography with the upbeat show tunes and also with the musical’s directors.
“Audrey has been adding a lot to the show that I haven’t even thought of yet,” senior student director Asia Mundy said. “She is super creative in the choreography.”
Senior stage manager Katie Sgroi is also excited about what Audrey has to offer.
“I am really excited to see what Audrey comes up with for the show,” Sgroi said. “It isn’t a huge dance-heavy musical so I am really interested to see what she will add to the show.”
Since Phillips wasn’t formerly familiar with the show and the musical choreographing process, she has received lots of help from the cast. A couple of actors have sent her YouTube clips of the show so she can become more familiar with what she is working with.
Besides gaining inspiration from other shows, Phillips also studies the scripts and blocking of the show. Recognizing the across-the-stage movement of each character helps Phillips to decide on choreography. But most importantly Phillips, listens carefully to the music in order to come up with movements that will compliment the characters and the show.
Going into her senior year, Phillips promised herself she would make time for new things in order to broaden her horizons and find other passions. Now with Putnam on her schedule, she has taken a leap into a new direction.
“I like to try to use what I have learned through all of these years of dance and apply it to a different settings,” said Phillips. “I hope someday to take what I have learned from dance and apply it to any career, whether that’s coaching, performing, or something completely different.”