Program Overview

  • Cheney Middle School Theatre Arts - Musical
    Program Director: Olivia Edwardson

    The word “theatre” comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. – Stella Adler

    What is the goal of the Cheney Middle School Theatre Arts Department?

    Our first and foremost goal is that students have an enriching experience in the theatre arts. Students gain confidence, new friendships, and a deeper appreciation for the arts by being involved in theatre. As a department, we want to put on productions that we can be proud of together. We strive to create visual art through voice, through movement, and through dance. Finally, we want to share this vision with an audience, and to tell a story that is important to not only us, but that story’s artistic creators.

     What do I need to know about the musical at Cheney Middle School?

    Winter musical rehearsals typically begin in November and conclude with performances in January. Theatre offers students the opportunity to act onstage, operate technical aspects such as sound and lighting, and to manage backstage components.

     How are auditions for the CMS musical operated?

    Auditions are open to students in grades 6-8 and are operated in groups of eight to provide students with a small peer group to perform with, as we know that auditions can make anyone nervous! A sign-up is posted outside Director Olivia Edwardson’s classroom two weeks prior to the production audition date. Students can choose an audition slot at that time and are expected to pick up the necessary audition materials.

    For the winter musical, students will be provided with 12-16 measures of a song from the show and will be taught this selection prior to the audition date at a mandatory musical theatre workshop.

     New to 2018 – students will be taught the dance combination(s) at the workshop by the choreographer.

     How is casting and participation in the musical determined?

    The lead production team (director, music director, and choreographer) will review all audition components and post a cast list online once auditions and callbacks are complete. Please note: if a student has multiple rehearsal conflicts, he or she may not be cast in a role. As such, students will ultimately need to make a decision about the activities they can commit to prior to the cast list being posted.

    Finally, participating in auditions does not guarantee a role in the productions. We have a large student body here at CMS and many students from every grade interested in participating. Thank you for understanding that casting choices can be difficult when we have so many talented students and we appreciate your cooperation in the matter.

    What are the rehearsal expectations for students who are cast in the musical?

    Students who are cast in a production are expected to attend rehearsals from 4:00-6:00PM weekdays. As we progress towards performance dates, times and days will vary but families will be provided with this information in advance. We are looking for committed students who will be responsible with their theatre involvement.

    What are any additional expectations?

    Students who are cast in the musical are required to pay a $40 activity fee. Payments should be submitted to the Cheney Middle School office and checks can be made payable to CMS. In addition, students are expected to attend our set construction dates and technical rehearsals. It is important that we have all cast and crew on these dates.

    What if my child is interested in helping with theatre crew activities?

    For the 2018-2019 musical, technical crew applications are due on Wednesday, October 17. Applicants will be contacted by October 26 if they have been selected as a member of the crew. This aspect of theatre is for students who may be interested in helping create the set, help with lighting and sound, and any other applicable technical/backstage work.

    What should I do if I have further questions?

    If you have any questions regarding either production, please email Director Olivia Edwardson at She will do her utmost to respond in a timely manner.

    We look forward to working with your students in this year’s musical!