As music is such an important part of dramatics at Ranger, I'd like to describe what its role is in the methods of putting a show together. When people audition for an upcoming show they usually sing some song of their own choice. This gives us an idea of the range and quality of the voice. As soon as the show is casted, the leading roles are given their songs to learn. In some shows, as "vaudeville as it used to be" or "A Night of Musical Scenes," there is nothing but music to run through and, if the occasion calls for it, appropriate choreography.

An interesting fact is that such pieces as "Be my Little Baby Bumble Bee" or "Heart of my Heart" were composed with specific performers' voices in mind. Therefore, we are often forced to change the key of a piece to match the voice. I recall that many pieces in "Funny Girl" and "Pinocchio" had to be adapted to Beth Lippy and Danny Goodman, after which it was impossible to tell that the key had been changed.

Frequently, a number can "die" on the stage unless enough rhythmic actions are fitted to it. These rhythmic movements are part of the art of choreography. Remember Sue Falk and Joel Kramer in "Who Taught Her Everything She Knows?" This called for soft shoe choreography. Many times I was asked to choreograph numbers but possibly the most difficult job I remember was trying to do some of the larger production numbers, many of them requiring intricate gymnastic maneuvers. However, the success of such scenes as "Private Schwartz," the amusing hi-jinx of "Jubilation T. Cornpone" and the bawdy, rollicking "Belly Up to the Bar Boys" from Molly Brown, all made the hours of preparation worthwhile. The acclamation between actor and song is only as strong as his desire to work hard and perform well. I got a tremendous amount of satisfaction seeing Jane Lasky become Molly Brown and seeing Dave Ellis sing "C'est Moi" from Camelot.

Just as the music and dance serve to set a mood for a scene in a musical show, so does the scenery help an audience to enter a scene with the actors. Dave Auerbach has shown an amazing diversity of forms and figures to create a veritable art gallery on the Ranger stage. Remember that moving American Eagle in "Private Schwartz," or how about the bar and cabin scenes from "Molly Brown?" Without the excellent back drops, no amount of music or directing would have made out shows successes.

In addition to my frequent attempts at directing this summer, other people were necessarily drafted into the world of the stage. Unknown to but a few, Joe Fine, our girls' tennis instructor, composed the entire format of "Camelot," but did not receive as much acclaim as he deserved because somehow he and the entire cast of our counselor show "forgot" to take a curtain call. I also had a first experience in cutting (shortening a play for easy use) "Funny Girl."

So at last, we can look back with much satisfaction to see how the different arts, both musical and visual, come together to weld a show, and to prepare it for the ultimate and discerning eye of the director. All of us from the girl's rec hall join in thanking him for all his assistance throughout this season and for his help in writing this article for the Ranger Trail.

My personal thanks to all of you who made this season a success and see you next year.

by Mark Shangold