“A Whole New World” for Mikaila Harper

Cassidy Cimino, Contributing Writer

Central Bucks South Junior Mikaila Harper runs to the front office to get her forum teacher’s mail. Her nerves increase as she anxiously waits for the attendant to give the delivery. The attendant grins as she gives Mikaila  the piece of paper that would change her year and future.

The slip read “Princess Jasmine” and instantly the moment became “unreal,” said Mikaila. The next few months leading up to November 6th, 7th, and 8th will be a lot of hard work for Mikaila as she prepares to play one of the main roles in the school’s production of Disney’s Aladdin, Jr., but she is prepared for the challenge.

“My first production was in fifth grade,” Mikaila said, “but I’ve liked theater since I could comprehend what was going on in the world.” Her grandmother inspired her to pursue acting and taught her everything she knows, which led to her first production, The Big Bad Musical. Instantly falling in love with the hobby, Harper then went onto Suessical, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Romeo and Juliet, and Pippin.

Mikaila said she practiced a lot for this year’s autumn play by singing with the practice tracks. For auditions, all the performers trying out had to sing “A Whole New World.” When auditions finally came, she was not nervous.

“Strangely enough, I don’t get nervous until about two seconds before I open my mouth,” Mikaila said. “When I am about to audition, that is when all the nerves hit me at one time, but when I start singing, it’s not that bad.”

After every role has been cast, rehearsals begin. Thespians have rehearsal three times a week, if they can come to every one.

Performers practice on stage or in the black box. For Mikaila, practice has changed drastically this year compared to last year’s Pippin.

Last year, Mikaila was in Women’s Ensemble for Pippin. “Last year, Pippin, was the best experience of all time, and I wasn’t even a lead,” she said. “Being in the ensemble is one of the most rewarding and amazing things that could happen.”

Mikaila continued, saying that ensemble is decreased pressure but still so much fun. CB South Junior Emma Kienzle is in Women’s Ensemble for Disney’s Aladdin, Jr.

“When I found out I was in the Women’s Ensemble,” said Emma. “I was really excited because I love putting on musicals!” She said that she practices singing, choreographing, or staging daily.

This year, Mikaila practices more individually than last year. She said she runs scenes with Nick Mason, who will be playing Aladdin, and Tyler Gittelman, who will be playing Jasmine’s Dad.

Mikaila said she was shocked when she found out that she going to play Princess Jasmine. “I was not expecting this whatsoever.”

Even though Mikaila plays a main role, she said she is most excited for the big numbers she is not even in. These scenes are “Prince Ali” and “Friend Like Me.” Mikaila also added that these scenes are going to “really bring the show to life.”

CB South Junior Becca Hitchiner said that she has never been to a school production since she has been going here. She then added that she is going to see the fall musical this year since it is one of her favorite Disney movies and that her fellow graduating classmate is a lead.

“Considering she was up against other juniors and seniors… you would think that the cast directors would favor the seniors, but a junior got it. It just shows how talented she is,” Becca said. She also added that the show must be “rad” if they picked Mikaila Harper with the voice she has and the movie itself.

“Everyone should come out and see the play,” said Mikaila. “It’s definitely going to be one of the most exciting productions that South has ever done!”

Emma Kienzle agreed. “People should come out to see the show because it is a really fun show. It has some really cool numbers and surprises!”

Tickets can be bought for $8.00 on the website www.tinyurl.com/titansaladdin.