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The Student News Site of Burlington High School

BHS Register

The Student News Site of Burlington High School

BHS Register

Behind the Scenes of “The Lightning Thief”

After a rocky start, the fall musical is off to the races
Rowan+Thayer+24+%28Annabeth+Chase%29+preparing+to+sing+The+Day+I+Got+Expelled.
Penelope deRosset
Rowan Thayer ’24 (Annabeth Chase) preparing to sing “The Day I Got Expelled.”

When Nora Perry ‘24 came to school, they were prepared to audition for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”. They walked out of auditions as Percy Jackson, the lead in “The Lightning Thief”.

The drama department announced that “Spelling Bee” would be the musical three days before. However, on the day of auditions, students told Music Director Myriam Bouti that South Burlington High School had already announced “Spelling Bee” as their fall musical. Director Peter Bowley ‘15 had to make a last-minute decision. 

“I felt it was the best decision to just do a different show,” Bowley said. “It was the more respectful thing to the people over there [at South Burlington]. It would just be inherently competitive.”

After searching for a new show that would fit the school’s needs, Bowley landed on “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical”. The show is based on the first book in the “Percy Jackson” series by author Rick Riordan, and follows Percy, a twelve-year-old boy who has just found out his absent father is the Greek god Poseidon. The musical first premiered Off-Broadway in 2014 and received a limited run on Broadway in 2019. The cast seems happy with the pick. 

“I wasn’t going to do it, but when they changed it, I decided to,” Moya Thayer ‘27 said. “I loved reading ‘Percy Jackson’ as a kid and I’d listened to the musical a few times. And I love it.” 

Perry agreed that the show was a good choice. 

“I really just love the Greek mythology aspect of it,” Perry said. “And it’s in the perspective of a twelve-year-old boy whose whole life and worldview gets flipped upside down.” 

Before they enter the theater, Bowley would like audiences to consider what makes Greek myths so compelling today, and how they can be told in a way that reflects our modern world.

“There’s something in the script that says to keep in mind that gods and monsters can look like any of us, can be like any of us, and you don’t have to do traditional casting,” Bowley said. “I think that’s a really important idea. I would encourage people to think when they see the show ‘Oh, this person might not be what I expected to be playing this role. But they do a fantastic job.’” 

Riordan’s books are well known for their diverse representation of different groups. Riordan himself started writing “Percy Jackson” so that his son, who has ADHD and Dyslexia, would get to see himself in a character. Percy’s ADHD and Dyslexia help him in his battles with monsters throughout the series. 

“The Lightning Thief” will premiere on November 16th, 17th and 18th. 

“We’re not going to be perfect,” Thayer said. “But we’re trying our darndest and we’re gonna make this show as best we can.”

Avery Eringis ’26 (Mrs. Dodds/Clarisse) and Nora Perry ’24 (Percy Jackson) having fun before rehearsal. (Penelope deRosset)

 

Keats Overman-Smith ’26 (Mr. D) and Oliver Kochalka ’26 (Mr. Brunner/Chiron) warming up with the rest of the cast. (Penelope deRosset)
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Penelope deRosset, Staff Writer
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