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In this year’s Disney/Pixar themed production of SING!, both the Freshiors and the Semores have coincidentally chosen similar movies, characters, and songs in their shows.
The overlap has prompted mixed reactions from both SING! casts.
“I think that [the overlap] takes away part of the fun of SING having two completely different shows revolving around the same theme. No audience wants to watch the same show back to back,” said Freshior actress Marina Aweeda.
“[It] could make it boring if the shows are too similar or it will really be telling of which is the better production,” added former COSA Aleeza Widman.
“It may potentially help the positives and negatives for each SING! performance to be much more transparent,” said Semore singing director Teresa Deely. “It will really come down to which SING executed those components better and with more originality and diversity.”
SING actors have also expressed concerns regarding duplicate character portrayals.
Semore actress Asiya Jaffer, who will play Violet from The Incredibles said, “Being that an audience will probably compare which version of ‘Violet’ was more fitting and appropriate, I feel like there will be no room for any mistakes.”
Semore actress Bea Tolentino, on the other hand, finds the duplicity motivating. She said, “It just gives an extra incentive for me to push myself to do the best I can for my team.”
Regardless of their opinions, both teams have had to make several adjustments to limit the extent of the overlap.
Teresa said, “[Semore singing co-director] Ekta and I had written a piece with components from various songs and we had to continuously edit it because our director, Nadia, told us that we could not continue to conflict with the Freshiors since they had chosen one of the songs we used.”
Many SING cast members believed a “senior priority” rule existed that allowed the Semore team to pick movies and other elements of the production first to prevent overlap. No such rule, however, officially existed, according to current and former COSAs; previously, directors had communicated with one another about the specifics of each SING production to avoid an overlap.
“In the past, when more SINGs had themes that weren’t based on fictional characters this wouldn’t even come up,” explained alumna Jennifer Walsh.
In 2013, however, when the theme of SING! was Marvel versus Detective Comics (DC), Ms. Widman gave the seniors first choice on which side to incorporate into their shows.
“I would tell them to alternate on choices and gave seniors first choice, but there never was any arguing over using the same ideas,” she said. “The directors of the two SINGs figured it out amongst themselves.”
Alumna Nina Leeds added, “Other years, when there was not as much possibility for overlap, I do not think that the Semore team had priority in claiming anything.”
Productions of SING within the last three years have presented a greater possibility for overlap due to fact that they are spin-offs of movies and TV shows. Before 2013, however, SING themes left almost no possibility for an overlap, making this year’s situation highly unlikely. Several current SING cast members, believe that seniors should have first claim because of the overlap potential.
“Nadia and I, as underclassmen, were part of performances that always respected senior priority. It’s fair and eventually everyone gets a chance. It’s something that you look forward to as an underclassmen, something you work hard for all these years,” Semore director Elina explained.
Freshior director Jillissa Drayton disagreed, “I think it’s good that there’s no senior priority… When it comes down to a creative competition like SING, it should come down to who does what, not just the grade levels of the students.”