After the pandemic shook up two years of productions, Longmont High School senior Emma Rieger wasn’t sure she’d get a chance to perform on stage before graduating.
But luckily, this Friday and Saturday, she’ll be one of the leads in the spring musical, “Freaky Friday.”
“I’m so grateful because honestly I didn’t think I would be able to,” she said. “So the fact that we are doing this and everything is so nice.”
Rieger plays Katherine, mother to Ellie Blake, played by junior Abi Ferguson. The show starts with Katherine trying to arrange her wedding, scheduled for the next day. Ellie, a rebellious teenager, wants to go to an event scheduled the same time as her mother’s rehearsal dinner and the two have a confrontation that ends with them switching bodies.
The two actresses then reverse roles, which has been a fun challenge for them both.
“We were so confused at how the script was going to go at first, because whose name is who and what’s happening?” Ferguson said.
It’s meant they’ve collaborated a lot to help bring both characters to life.
“When you're just acting as one person, I guess you just kind of give an attitude to a character and you just go along with it,” Rieger said. “But as two people, you have to get little details about the person — how they stand, how they talk, what they would do. You have to make the contrast between them big, too, so that you can convey the switching.”
In their switched bodies, Katherine and Ellie have only one day to put things right before Katherine’s wedding, and they learn some lessons along the way.
“By the end of the show, (Katherine) realizes that her daughter’s life is harder than she thought it was,” Ferguson said. “It’s not going to be perfect because no life can be perfect.”
Both said that learning all their lines has been the hardest part for them. With so many props and moving pieces on stage, the technical aspects have also been a full-time job for stage manager Eron Kadlecek, a freshman.
“I’ve never been a person who controls things, but it’s been really fun learning,” Kadlecek said.
Kadlecek added that the best part of the production has been getting to work with everyone.
“Freaky Friday” plays at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, along with a 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors, available at https://www.vancoevents.com/us/events/landing?eid=18971&.
The excitement from the entire cast and crew was palpable during Tuesday’s dress rehearsal. All hoped that their audiences this weekend would enjoy the show as much as they have.
“It’s a really, really funny production and there’s some really, really sweet parts and really, really cringy parts,” Rieger said. “There’s a lot of laughter, a lot of realization, family problems that will probably hit close to home for a lot of the audience.”