ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – Escanaba High School theater students are hard at work this week rehearsing for Big Fish, the school’s 59th production.
“Big Fish is an amazing musical,” said senior Bridget Bichler, who plays Jenny Hill. “It follows Edward [Bloom] through his story of his childhood and the things he went through.”
Throughout the musical, Edward tells his son, Will, a number of tall tales. In those tales, Edward encounters colorful characters like a mermaid, witches, and a giant.
“Carl the Giant is the tallest character in the show,” said senior Abraham Wessel, who plays the giant. “He’s with Edward till the end, and he goes on so many fantastical journeys with him.”
An ensemble brings each scene to life through song and dance.
“It’s a lot of intricacies in running around and changing costumes,” said ensemble cast member and Escanaba High School senior Maddie Hubert. “From the back, it’s really cool to see the moments that the leads get to have and how we get to react. It’s such a fun show, and it has a lot of magical moments.”
Cast members like senior Thomas Kluka, who plays Edward, say underneath all the incredible theatrics is a touching message about family.
“The show, from my perspective, is about this father who wants to make his son proud of him, because he’s proud of his son,” Kluka said. “He tells these wacky stories that are just out of this world, and he just wants to make his son laugh. Even though his son is not really believing them, he still tries.”
Several of the senior performers plan to pursue a career in the arts after graduation. They say being part of a show like Big Fish has been great preparation for life after high school.
“It takes a lot of people to put on a musical,” Hubert said. “Set building, learning to use power tools to put stuff together, paint stuff—that can come into your own life.”
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the people,” said Bichler. “I have made a bunch of new friends through acting with those people, and I just think it was a great experience.”
Until then, they encourage the public to get their tickets to Big Fish, running November 17 – 21.
“The storytelling is just amazing,” Wessel said. “It’s just so nice to see everything get put together.”
“People should come see the show for all the laughs that they’re going to have and for the rest of the emotions that are in the show,” said Kluka. “It’s an amazing show.”
Big Fish performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. November 17 – 18 and November 20 – 21. There will be a matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. on November 19.
General admission tickets for Big Fish are available for $15 at the main High School office and at Bobaloon’s Cafe. Click here for more information.