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Matilda Opens Poudre Theatre's 2022-2023 Season

For Poudre Theatre, the 2022 school year is off to a great start. The fall production of Matilda opened on October 28th, and was a testament to the hours of work students put into the show.

Over eight weeks, students built a truly revolting show. Every member of the company put in their best work, and that was apparent on stage.

Poudre’s theater program is so impressive and successful because it closely mimics professional theater. Not only is the acting coaching fantatstic, technical and costuming aspects are well rounded, focusing on hands-on learning.

There are opportunities for students to learn about theater both within and outside of afterschool productions. We are one of few schools with opportunities to get technically certified, and we have classes in which you can learn about almost any aspect of theater.

“Most of our theater courses are available for concurrent enrollment, which is great. We’ve really worked with the administration to prepare high school students for opportunities after high school, whether that means working in theater or studying theater in college, or pursuing a career and working in professional theater,” said Joel Smith, Poudre’s main theater teacher and director.

Matilda is an excellent example of technical work bringing a show to life. The set has a few moving pieces, and the components that are stationary are incredible. The crew worked extensively on making sure every detail of the set was effective and looked perfect.

The costuming crew created amazing pieces that helped portray each character’s role, and tied the story together. Even minor characters’ costumes were stunning- you couldn’t help but admire such craftsmanship, especially having come from students.

Besides the visual aspects, Matilda is a highly compelling story, one we all are moved by. Matilda’s story finds us at a time where stories about joy and rebellion are more poignant and needed than ever.

“It’s been a rough few years, it’s been a time of instability. As a society, but specifically as a school, there’s been a lot of uncertainty, there’s been a lot of anxiety. And I think we’re all dealing with the ‘new reality.’ We kind of overlooked the fact that people’s lives were changed forever. We’re still dealing with a lot of grief,” said Smith. “Matilda talks about all of those things. Matilda is really about resiliency and about bouncing back, and about finding strength that maybe you didn’t know was there. It tells that story in a way that’s very humorous and very upbeat and very optimistic. If we can get some strength, and perseverance, and resilience from the characters in the show, I think that’s something we could all use right now.”

Certainly, the characters in Matilda are people that we could all learn a little from. Each of them has their own strengths and flaws that perhaps you could see in your peers and in yourself.

Without the work of our cast, these characters would not be nearly as accessible or compelling as they are. The work that the cast did to create these characters, and to deliver delightful vocal performances, should be appreciated as much as the work of the rest of the company.

Matilda is only the first production of this season. With Clue and Almost in Maine still coming up, the theater department is abuzz with pride and excitement for the rest of the year.

Information about auditions and crew sign up will be found on Poudre Theater’s website - all are welcome to participate. Besides after school productions, there are many classes which you can take to learn about acting and/or production. Being a part of productions or classes is a great way to learn and expand your knowledge, and to make connections with your peers.

Productions like Matilda are a testament to the passion Poudre students have for theater. This season is sure to be one of our best. Whether you’re looking to get involved, or just looking to see a good show, keep your eyes and ears open for news from our theater department!

Eddy Merritt is a junior at Poudre High School. She is the head author of Cacophony blog, and this is her first year writing for Poudre Press. She is deeply involved in Fort Collins culture and is inspired by the work her peers do. You can check out her blog, Cacophony, here.

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