Christamas Gala, for most students, means a lot of on-campus traffic, and a couple people missing in their classes. For CAPA students, it’s a performance opportunity on the collegiate level that is most comparable to professional work.
We perform nine shows in three days and have taken the show to the Strand in Shreveport. It always falls right before finals, so many of us are forced to miss our last week of classes. We make this sacrifice, though, for the love of the performance. With the help of the university, most professors do an excellent job at accommodating us and keeping us prepared despite the three days of classes we will be on the stage and not in a desk.
Gala this year is not only celebrating it’s 30th anniversary, but is also being directed for the first time by Michael Rorex, who has been an absolute pleasure to work with. Gala captures all departments of CAPA including; theatre, dance, music, and artistic design. The show is based off of that of the ‘Radio City Spectacular’ therefore encompassing music, choral pieces, and dances.
This is my fifth Gala. So far I have been a Toy Solider, Rockette, in the Musical Theatre Ensemble and one of this year’s new addition of the Rag Dolls. We rehearse for months to be able to provide the best nine shows possible. There are swings that sometimes never see the stage that await in the wings in case of injury!
The amount of joy you hear in the crowd makes the hard work worth it. The children scream with glee upon the sight of every new costume and spectacle. Every time I hear a child’s laugh or someone scream “SANTA” I grin harder than I have the entirety of the year. The long hours, sweat, and literal blood feel absolutely worth it the moment the lights and music start on that first show.
Gala opens Wednesday, Nov. 28 for a three-day stint in A.A. Frederick’s. Happy Gala and a Merry Christmas to all the wonderful citizens of Natchitoches, Lousisiana!
Photo by Chris Reich.