The Lakeview Community Theatre Guild rehearses a musical number for their upcoming production of “Matilda The Musical.”

The Lakeview Community Theatre Guild rehearses a musical number for their upcoming production of “Matilda The Musical.”

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Lakeview Community Theatre presents ‘Matilda The Musical’

By: Alyssa Ochss | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published March 31, 2024


ST. CLAIR SHORES — The Lakeview Community Theatre Guild is excited to present its first musical since the COVID-19 pandemic — “Matilda The Musical,” scheduled to run April 19-21 at the Schaublin Auditorium.

The guild is composed of current students at Lakeview High School, alumni and anyone who has had or has a connection to the high school. This includes the director, Matthew Klug, and the vocal coach and producer, Jessica Vaughan. They were in the guild together when Klug was a high school student and Vaughan was an elementary school student.

“These are all students that live within the Lakeview community,” Klug said. “So if you’re homeschool, if you go to private school but you live in this community, you are welcome to audition for our show. If your mom and dad are Lakeview alumni and you live out of the city, you’re also welcome to join the show. You just need to have some type of Lakeview connection.”

Vaughan said no prior theater experience is needed to audition for plays.

“We teach them what they need to know to be out there and as they get more experience then they might move up to, you know, next year they might have a bigger part,” Vaughan said.

Klug said they audition students starting in fourth grade and up. Adults are welcome to audition and some have had their students in previous shows the guild has produced. Klug also said almost all of the staff members are Lakeview alumni as well. Their cast includes around 100 people.

“That’s not just students; we have adults, senior citizens, anyone from the community can audition,” Klug said. “It’s not just a teenager or kid thing.”

This is Klug’s first year as director, but he said previous productions include classic musicals such as “My Fair Lady,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Shrek” and others.

The current production is many of the actors’ first show.

Vaughan said rehearsals are going really well.

“The kids are super excited,” Vaughan said. “They come in with a ton of energy every rehearsal and they’re ready to dance and sing and act their little hearts out. They’re having a lot of fun.”

Vaughan said since the pandemic they’ve had to rebuild the entire production staff.

“It’s been a whole revitalization of the program, and so we’re really excited to take what worked well over the last 30 years and then bring it into this new era with a new group of kids and community,” Vaughan said.

The community has shown excitement for the show as well. Vaughan said they’ve seen donations of all different kinds including tools, money and other things.

“I think that the community was really ready to see this kind of a program come back, so it’s been a huge buzz going on,” Vaughan said.

Anne Schienke, who plays Matilda, said she was nervous when she auditioned for the play and wasn’t expecting to get the role. She likes the role because she gets to be mischievous.

Allison Dollison, who plays Agatha Trunchbull, said she likes the role because she gets to portray an alter ego.

“Because the kids are like, ‘No, you’re too nice to be Mrs. Trunchbull,’ but I can go there if I need to,” Dollison said with a laugh.

Dollison’s daughter also performed in plays before.

Eli Habarth said he watched the “Matilda” movie, but he didn’t know anything about the musical.

“When my mom told me that there was a play for it, I just started watching it and then I just loved it,” Habarth said.

This is both Habarth’s and Schienke’s first production and it is Dollison’s first principal role. All three are excited for the production.

Klug said he’s excited for the production and that he knew wanted to come back when he was in college at the University of Detroit Mercy.

“I knew that I wanted to come back and direct a show here so this is a great honor,” Klug said. “I’m very excited. I’m excited for these kids. I’m excited for this community.”

The guild’s ticket sales goal is 900 tickets and Klug said they are on their way to surpassing that. To purchase a ticket, visit Vaughan said tickets are also being sold at the door. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $10 for students.