Students performing in egg costumes on stage

This year’s Senior School musical, the 2015 Tony Award nominee, Something Rotten! is a hysterical, joyous celebration of everything we love about Broadway. The show imaginatively explores the intersection of Elizabethan drama and modern musicals while teaching lessons about overcoming obstacles and achieving true collaboration and friendship.

The story follows Nick and Nigel Bottom, a pair of writing brothers who are trying desperately to find the perfect story to put on the stage. In a desperate attempt to unseat Renaissance rockstar, William Shakespeare, from his throne, Nick consults with a soothsayer, who informs him that the future of theatre involves acting, singing, and dancing—sometimes all at once! As the Bottom brothers strive to write the world’s very first “musical”, they find themselves caught in a bitter battle with the Bard.

The show was beautifully choreographed with stunning costumes, and superbly performed by students on stage and in our pit orchestra, all supported by an accomplished backstage crew. Chelsea and Claire reflect on their experiences below. It seems that simply being involved in the production is helping students deal with the same intentions of the musical—showing courage, understanding teamwork and building lifelong relationships.

Chelsea dances during a performance on stage

Chelsea Lee
 - Portia (Brother Jeremiah’s puritan daughter)

The SMUS 2024 production of Something Rotten! was truly an unforgettable experience. It all started in October, when fifty students anxiously crowded into the drama room to take part in auditions. I vividly remember feeling both excited and intimidated by all the talent in the room and by the whirlwind of practices I knew would soon follow. Suddenly, I blinked, and it was Winter Break, and we had run through Act 1 fully. To be honest, I had no clue how this show was going to come together because there were so many of us, and it was hard to believe that we would even be able to dance together in unison! That being said, I looked forward to every rehearsal and couldn’t believe how quickly the cast bonded.

Let’s fast forward to a week after four successful shows. The last two months of rehearsal at school and the time spent in the theatre were both so special and chaotic. Balancing schoolwork with rehearsals wasn’t easy, but the moments spent together on stage and in dressing rooms were the best in the world. As I looked out into the audience, the feeling of pride in my heart for this incredible cast, crew, and orchestra was unmatched, and I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the magic happen. Like Portia says, “it pains the heart to say adieu to someone you love, but alas, the time has come.” Congratulations to everyone involved in Something Rotten!

Nick Bottom and Nostrodamus acting on stage

Claire Huang
- Assistant Stage Manager

Four months ago, I remember the moments when we all gathered in the drama room to read through the play with the full cast for the first time. As we embarked on this journey together, we started knowing each other a little bit more.

For me, simply being involved in this production just made me so excited. Throughout the past four months, I learned different skills as an assistant stage manager. Being able to communicate and paying attention to details were some of the key things I learned. Anna and I worked together to assist in the coordination of all the backstage activities. Witnessing the ensemble come to life on stage was truly enchanting.

Entering my final year in high school, I'm so grateful to be a part of this amazing experience. It's been a privilege to be a part of Something Rotten! This experience holds a special place in my heart.

Head on over to the Photo Gallery to see a Graves Hall-sized omelette of photos from the show.

Students finish a scene in perfect pose