Staples Players dance with ‘Descendants’

The Staples Players advertise their upcoming performances on April 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 outside of the auditorium. You can find tickets on

Gabriella Gerig ’23

The Staples Players advertise their upcoming performances on April 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 outside of the auditorium. You can find tickets on

The Staples Players are planning to entertain once again, this time with their production of “Descendants: The Musical.” “Descendants: The Musical” is a 2015 Disney Original that follows the lives of the children of our most cherished childhood characters.
In “Descendant: The Musical,” the villains are banished to the Isle of the Lost along with their children. However, as the story unfolds, four of the villains’ children are given a chance for freedom: Jay (son of Jafar), Evie (daughter of the Evil Queen), Carlos (son of Cruella de Vil) and Mal (daughter of the notorious Maleficent). This group is forced to make a decision between honoring their evil parentage or creating a new destiny for themselves.
The Players have been preparing for weeks to perfect the production which includes not only acting but also singing and dancing. Each and every member of the crew has to fulfill their role in order to ensure a complete entertainment experience for the audience.
“We have had rehearsal everyday from music to acting to dance in order to get each number at its best,” Chloe Manna ’22 said.
The actors are also immersing themselves in their characters as they prepare for an exciting opening night. As part of their preparation, the cast creates a “character biography” to help develop the inner emotions and thoughts behind their performance.
“I have had to do a lot of background research on my character, the Fairy Godmother, in order to really immerse myself in her thoughts and feelings for each scene,” Madelyn Spera ’23 said.
Manna and Jackie Peterson ’23 are co-cast in portraying Evie and Manna is embracing the opportunities surrounding the role.
“Evie is one of my favorite characters I have gotten to play because she has such a playful and flirty personality that has been super fun to experiment with,” Manna said, “but also a kindness and warmness that makes playing very unique.”
In addition, the Players had the opportunity to meet with alumni Caley Beretta ’10, manager of creative development for a Disney Theatrical Group, and “Descendants” book writer and Broadway actor Nick Blaemire. This visit allowed the Players to receive special insight and constructive criticism for this novel production.

The actors are not the only part of the musical. Serious work goes on behind the scenes to set the production apart from others. (Gabriella Gerig ’23 )

“This musical is so special because it’s not something that’s been performed many times at all and there’s so many chances within the show to just have fun with it,” Jayden Saenz ’23 said.
Although the quality performances are often the focus, there is so much more that goes into pulling off a successful production including the music, set design, lighting, makeup and costumes. Christina Meehan ’23 works with the costume designs such as painting the Dalmation spots on Carlos’ silver jacket as well as choosing his pant embellishments.
“Most of the costumes are so abstract compared to one’s in the past,” Meehan said. “Staples students are literally designing and sewing fabric on and painting designs.”
Outside of entertainment, the production highlights important thematic messages.
“On the surface level the musical is a super fun show that allows us to be reintroduced to the most iconic Disney characters,” Manna said. “However, if you look underneath there is a really beautiful message of not being defined by where you come from or what your parents force you to be and creating your own path in life.”