Each year Gorham High School (GHS) puts on its annual musical production. For many years, under the direction of Bruce Avery, audience members were treated to productions like “Fame,” “West Side Story,” and “Oklahoma.” These shows were incredible collaborations from the school and community.
Recently, under the direction of Joshua Hurd, there have been outstanding productions of “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” and last year’s sell out, “Footloose.” This year, that tradition will continue with GHS’s production of “Once on This Island,” when GHS welcomes back alum and local business owner Mariel Roy (GHS ’07) as choreographer.
“It’s obvious there’s a very strong commitment to this program from the town. Last year, our final performance was on a Wednesday night in the middle of one of the worst snow storms of the season. Not only did the whole cast make it, but there were about 250 people in the audience that night. I was amazed,” said Hurd.
“This year’s show is unique. It’s not your average musical theater show, and we needed a choreographer who was familiar with the material and style of dance I was looking for,” said Hurd.
After graduating from GHS, Roy went on to study dance at Dean College in MA and then returned to Gorham. She recently opened her own dance studio, Atlantic Dance Arts. In addition to running her own business, she is also the choreographer for Biddeford City Theater, and works closely with them on over four productions each year.
When asked to return to GHS, Roy was quick to accept. “Since I was little, I always looked forward to seeing the GHS musical every spring. My junior year at GHS, I was in ‘Footloose,’ the musical, and always dreamed of choreographing a show there someday,” said Roy.
“I was so impressed when I saw their production of ‘Footloose’ last year, and was honored to be asked to join the creative team for ‘Once on this Island,’ ” said Roy. “You can’t help but dance when you hear the music from this show.”
Performances of “Once on This Island” are scheduled for February 2-11, 2018 at GHS.