Drama’s Production of In the Heights


In The Heights, a three day story that takes place during the summer of Washington Heights, one of Manhattan’s most vibrant barrio– a place where the café is light and sweet, the windows are constantly open, and where everybody’s got a job and a dream worth chasing for. A musical that deals with the hardships of deciding who you want to become and where you want your future to lead, along with a Latin implanted score that will having you dancing from your seats. The Tony Award Winning Musical for Best Musical (2008) with book written by Quiara Alegeria Hudes and music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, known for writing music for the Disney movie Moana. Drama’s musical season is an inclusive show that allows students outside of the theater department to audition for roles. One of the lead roles, Usnavi, is portrayed by Joshua Saenz, a Jazz choir associate. Like any story, having relatable characters touches the audience’s hearts’, Joshua believes

“Usnavi is very mature and wants to support the people around him as I feel connected to him in that way. I always want to look out for the people I love,”.

Drama’s production started in December with In The Heights and went until performances March. It began with auditions for casting. This was a two-three week process to see who would fit roles the best. After that, rehearsals began in January and students would take 2 days out of their week for singing rehearsals and 3 days for dancing rehearsals after school. The technical crews also began to work around the same time which add an important element to the show’s production. Costumes, props, set design/construction, lights, sound, publicity, business and program are all important aspects to building the show’s foundation.

As the weeks progress, the later the cast and crew have to stay after school, just to make sure they can prepare for their best performances on show days. The struggles and efforts of these students make the production happen. Many people believe the ticket prices are “expensive” for a high school show, but what they don’t know is in order to make this show happen, Drama pays royalties and other expenses to help build the set, buy costumes and props, etc. which can total to about more than $4000. That’s why it’s important to receive the support from the community to watch the school’s musicals.