My Fair Lilly

SHS junior takes on several responsibilities for fall musical


Noah Thomas

Junior Lilly Leslie, dressed as Eliza Doolittle, acts on stage during a dress rehearsal on Nov. 12. Leslie is the lead in the SHS fall musical, “My Fair Lady.”

The auditorium is almost completely silent. Some people are in the audience watching, waiting for their turn. Dancers are on the stage mimicking one specific person’s movements to the music of “My Fair Lady.” Ten minutes pass, and the dancers finish their routine, then sit down.

All of them disperse off the stage, except for one. Scenes then play out like a movie on the stage. Actors come and go into the wings, but one character in particular remains on stage throughout the entire show. She sings. She dances. She acts. She is Lilly Leslie.

“I did choreography last year as well, so it’s not my first rodeo,” junior Lilly Leslie said. “However, it is my first time being a lead and doing the choreography. There’s a lot of pressure on me. I know a lot of people that are coming and I definitely want to do the best I can do.”

Leslie is the star in the SHS fall production of “My Fair Lady.” She is playing Eliza Doolittle, the lead female role in the musical. “My Fair Lady” follows the social class transformation of Eliza Doolittle from a working class girl to a

Noah Thomas
Junior Lilly Leslie left) acts on stage with junior Jacob Warfel during a “My Fair Lady” dress rehearsal on Nov. 12. The theater department will be presenting “My Fair Lady” Nov. 16-18 in the SHS auditorium.

proper British lady. Aside from being the lead in the production, Leslie is also a co-choreographer and helps create the dances that go along with the songs in the show.

Leslie says that her friends in theatre and drama class have been really supportive of the roles she has taken on, but has been supported especially by SHS choir teacher, Katherine Doty. Doty has been helping make sure that Leslie has been doing what she needs to in order to better herself for the performance in terms of her singing and using different accents in her dialect.

According to Doty, Leslie and her work on a lot of vocal techniques, due to the fact that Leslie not only has to speak in a different accent for her role, but has to sing in it as well.

“There’s a dialect issue too,” Doty said. “The Cockney dialect that she has to speak in and sing in for half of the show goes against every rule of singing there is.”

Leslie has to speak in two different accents for her role as Eliza Doolittle– a Cockney accent and a British accent. Eliza goes through a transformation throughout the show, and that change is reflected in the way she speaks.

“Learning the accents weren’t hard, but not having them mix together is,” Leslie said. “Sometimes I let my Cockney accent slip when I’m doing my British accent, just like Eliza Doolittle in the story and how she has to figure out when to say something in Cockney and when to say something in British.”

To overcome this problem, Leslie says she is consistently practicing the accents and tries to just know her character in the show well. According to Leslie, she will repeat her lines over and over again until she gets them how she wants.

Junior Justin Tidd, who plays the role of the male lead in the production, says that being one of the leads in a musical production is a lot of work in itself. The performer has to memorize lines and stage directions along with many other tasks. While Leslie takes on these tasks, she also has to add on the fact that she has to act as a leader to the other performers. Aside from working hard, Tidd says that Leslie is absolutely fantastic and he has a massive amount of respect and admiration for her, due to how much work she puts into her craft.

“She is the lead in the show with almost as many lines, if not more, than any other lead and she choreographed,” Tidd said. “I have so much respect for someone that puts that much work in to make a show for everyone great.”

Doty says there are several adjustments that Leslie has had to make in terms of how she approaches her role and dialect as Eliza Doolittle. However, Doty says that Leslie is directable and works hard at allowing herself to prepare as she comes in everyday prepared, takes notes, and even works on stuff at home.

“She’s (Leslie) one of the best,” Doty said. “She puts in the work outside of rehearsal and she comes into rehearsal ready to move on.”

While Leslie admits that taking on the responsibility of having the lead role in the production as well as being a choreographer is a bit overwhelming, she is confident in the position that she is in and is looking forward to the show.

“The overall production is going amazing. The set looks great. All the kids worked really hard, and I think all of us genuinely care about this production. I think it’s going to be amazing and I’m really looking forward to the show.” Leslie said.