South Side High School presents ‘Matilda: The Musical’

Cast and crew works diligently to prepare for the spring musical


South Side High School’s theater department is buzzing with excitement as they prepare for the premiere of “Matilda: The Musical,” running from April 10 – 13.

Directed by Pam Seiderman, a longtime theatrical director and teacher who is retiring after 22 years of dedicated service, the performance promises to be an enthusiastic and entertaining experience for audiences of all ages.

Auditions for the spring musical were held in December, culminating with the selection of this incredibly talented cast and crew, who have been hard at work rehersing for the performance since January.

“The learning curve from day one to closing night is miraculous,” Seiderman said. “We set the bar high and students always surpass our expectations.”

Katie Mark, the orchestra teacher and pit conductor at South Side High School, said while some high school productions will hire professional musicians, they are committed to giving students an authentic experience, that is a natural extension of their training with their music ensembles.

The production team is comprised of several industry professionals who manage the light and set design, choreography, technical direction and stage crew.

“We do this to both elevate the professionalism of the productions, but also so our students can see themselves in these theater careers,” Seiderman said. “We have students learning from professionals who go on to careers in stage management, set design, lighting design, playwriting, directing and dramaturgy.”

Members of both the cast and pit orchestra shared their experiences leading up to the fast-approaching opening night.

Maureen Clancy, a senior at South Side, plays the titular role of Matilda. During a recent dress rehersal she described the process as “organized chaos,” but emphasized the value of camaraderie and growth among team members.

“Working with such a large group of people, with one common goal, helps build strong bonds,” Clancy said. “Being involved in the production teaches collaboration as well as independence and accountability. No one should be ‘above’ someone else, we all need to love and respect each other.”

Connor Reilly, a junior at South Side, takes on multiple roles in the production, including the Doctor, Rudolpho, and an ensemble cast member.

“I think everyone can tell that we are really doing something special with this show,” Reilly said. “I could not have asked for a better group of people to put this show on with. I think the people involved in this show are the reason why it’s such a special production.”

Cooper Gottcent, a senior who plays percussions in the pit orchestra, expressed a similar sentiment, highlighting the tight-knit bond of the accompaniment.

“Working with the cast and crew has allowed me to meet a lot of new people involved in the production who I might not have interacted with otherwise,” Gottcent said.

When asked about their favorite scenes, many students said that it was the ending of the play.

“The kids band together and practice civil disobedience to take down the cruel Ms. Trunchbull,” Clancy said. “I think it represents that no matter how small you feel, you can create a difference. The final scene is impactful, as the show slows down and the characters become much more raw; it is bittersweet and it's the perfect ending to a perfect story.”

Gottcent furthered Clancy’s belief, noting that “this moment allows me to glance up [from the pit] even for just a second to witness this beautiful moment as I do not play during the scene. It is a great resolution to the show and the musical accompaniment really ties everything together.”

All involved have spent the last week ironing out any wrinkles, adding elements to the show bit by bit until everyone involved is confident and ready for opening night.

Seiderman said that in the past week, students have been working on set changes, checking microphone levels and coordinating tempos in time with the orchestra. She said that it is during the final week of rehearsals that they add lighting, costumes, wigs and makeup.

“We empower students to have the confidence to find solutions to any problems that may go wrong during a performance,” Seiderman said. “If an actor drops a line, a prop goes missing, or a quick costume change is late, students learn to problem solve quickly in the moment.”

“Matilda: The Musical” promises to be an entertaining blend of captivating musical performances, choreography, and heartfelt moments that will leave audiences speechless.

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the magic of theater at South Side High School’s production of “Matilda: The Musical," playing from Wednesday, April 10 through Saturday, April 13. 

Showtimes for 'Matilda: The Musical' presented by South Side High School:

Wednesday, April 10 at 4:30 p.m. 

Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. 

Friday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. 

Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. 

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. All proceeds will go toward the Drama Guild fund in support of future productions. For tickets visit