‘Spongebob Musical’ makes splash


Plankton (sophomore Liam McManaman) , Old Man Jenkins (junior Rylie Ruggirello) and Squidward (senior Joey Bonasera) discuss the impending doom of Bikini Bottom. Photo by Jillian Schudiske

Kaden Horton, Staff Reporter

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Audiences found out during North’s production of “The Spongebob Musical” on March 24-26. 

Based on the Nickelodeon show, the story follows Spongebob Squarepants (junior Libby Baumker), Patrick Star (junior Sajda Anani), and the citizens of Bikini Bottom as they attempt to prevent a volcano from destroying their home. 

“What sold me on doing the show was the script,” director Kit Crawford said. “It has a much more solid story than I assumed, given it’s based on a cartoon. It addresses social issues such as environmental concerns and xenophobia, as well as themes such as friendship, cooperation and the importance of community.”

The theater department has never previously put on a musical based on a kids cartoon, and this departure from more realistic dramas allows for the production to be more engaging  for younger audiences.  

“Often in theater, you have to find a way to make the show feel real and down to Earth, but for this musical, everything gets to be over the top since the show is based on a cartoon,” technical director Sean Barber said. 

The longevity of the cartoon is attributed to the popularity of its characters, and translating their lively personalities onto the stage was a welcome challenge for the actors. 

“The show is insanely energetic and comedic, and we have to put our full energy into every scene while becoming the different sea creatures and characters,” junior ensemble member Addison Krychenko said. “Since it is so well known, we want to make sure we keep that feeling of the TV show and keep the audience happy and entertained.”

Copyright laws prevented the actors from using familiar catchphrases, so the directors had to navigate carefully.

“While many people know the catchphrases and the voices of the show, we are not allowed to do direct copies but are given freedom to put our own spin on everything,” Barber said. “It is a fine line to walk where you give the audience bits and pieces of what they expect and make the show your own.” 

 Another roadblock was the long and sometimes stressful rehearsals that occurred almost every day after school from 4-7 p.m., but the actors were able to combat this by immersing themselves in their craft.

“It was a lot thinking we would be here everyday, but it went by really quickly when we began putting the show together,” senior Erin Dow (Karen, the computer) said. 

Putting on a musical is demanding, but Crawford hopes that when the final curtain closed, both the audience and the cast had an enjoyable experience.  

“It truly takes a village to put on a show,” Crawford said. “One of my favorite reasons for working in theater at North is the opportunity to work with such great people.”