Witches and Fishes

Theatre Presents Production ‘Big Fish’


Isa Morgan

With a smile on her face, junior Madi Cooper practices her music for theater’s musical “Big Fish.” The show will be Jan. 26 -28 at 7 p.m. in the PAC. “I love all the people in the theater department,” Cooper said. “I have never met a more determined and hard working group of people than those in theater, so many people are go-getters and achievers and it really helps our productions in the long term.”

Ava Callaway, Reporter

As the curtain rises, the sound of pebbles skipping over a river fills the auditorium. A heartwarming sight of a father and son skipping rocks on the river fills the PAC stage as the actors perform.

Theatre’s production of “Big Fish,” the spring musical, will run Jan. 26 -28 at 7 p.m. in the PAC, with an additional matinee on Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m. 

“Big Fish” is a powerful, heartfelt, and emotional musical about the love between a father and his son, who grow to discover their own identities. The storyline shifts back and forth between the past and present. In the present day, Edward Bloom, played by junior Aidan Cox, is 60 years old and facing the end of his life while his son, Will, played by senior Brady Allen, is preparing to become a father as well. In the past, Edward is a teenager who meets a witch, played by junior Courtney McDanald, a mermaid, played by sophomore Pearl Bailey, and Sandra, the love of his life, played by junior Madison Cooper. Both storylines join together as Will uncovers the secrets his father never revealed. 

“’Big Fish’ is the story of a father who exaggerates all of his life stories into extravagant fairy tales, and his son who is a realist trying to find the truth in his father’s past, as his father begins to pass,” Cooper said. “The story takes you on a journey through the fairy tales and real-world of his father and son, with the mom always there to guide their family to understanding.”

The Theatre Department has been working since July on memorizing lines and tech. According to senior Ryleigh Jordan, there are many technical elements to the show that enhance it. 

“This show has a lot of different technical and performance elements that need to come together,” Jordan said. “It’s definitely been lots of work trying to spread out and share time between those different elements like the separate blocking, vocal, and choreography rehearsals as well as tech rehearsals, but everyone has been working really hard and I think in the end we’re all going to be really proud of the outcome. [There are] many cool technical elements that really make the story come to life. ”

Although it has been hard work memorizing lines and stressing about everything coming together, getting on that stage on opening night will be worth it, Cooper said.

“I love everything about ‘Big Fish,’ the costumes and set and fairy tales are so beautiful and the plot is just breathtaking,” Cooper said. “I love being a part of this story that so strongly brings people together and the beautiful relationship of the family that develops over the show is so magical to be a part of.”

Cooper said the actors have been working hard and are getting excited for the show to hit the stage.

“It’s really a lot hard work till you get to your goal, all through freshman and sophomore year I only had ensemble parts with a few minor speaking lines or one sentence song solos, but throughout rehearsals I really worked hard and worked on improving and that’s what directors look for, and that’s what led me to getting Sandra in ‘Big Fish,’” Cooper said. “A lot of being an actor is working in your own time to develop characters and memorize everything, etc. We’re a student-led program so our development is based solely on us, that’s why the actors really depend on each other to help us make improvements. It’s really cool to see different themes and plots develop by all the ensemble, and in turn it helps us develop our characters better.”

The theater department is a collection of individuals who have the same passion and love for expressing themselves, whether they’re in the spotlight or in the shadows running the behind-the-scene, according to Cooper. 

“I love all the people in the theater department,” Cooper said. “I have never met a more determined and hard working group of people than those in theater, so many people are go-getters and achievers and it really helps our productions in the long term and in the end, you know you can always count on the people around you to help you out.”

Tickets will be available to purchase on the CPHS Theatre Booster website in the beginning or middle of January.