…And All That Jazz

Morgan Lomax '24

Academy students radiated a mixture of joy and surprise on Friday, December 3rd as they crowded around Senior Emma Marsh’s computer screen. The 2023 spring musical had just been announced as Chicago: Teen Edition.

The announcement, delivered through email by directors Ms. Christin Kennedy, Ms. Erin Dowd, and Ms. Gwyneth Turner, was the culmination of a week-long series of hints regarding the show. Student anticipation leading up to the reveal was almost tangible.

Chicago marks a transition within Academy theatre. It is the first show to be performed at St. Elizabeth University’s theater as well as the first show in a year to have male students from other schools auditioning. Currently, students from Delbarton School, Madison High School, and Oratory Prep School have signed up for auditions.

Ms. Christin, along with the other directors, is greatly looking forward to the performance: “We wanted music and a story that were recognizable to the audience. And more than anything…the dancing is amazing! There is nothing quite like classic Fosse jazz.” Chicago—set in 1920s Chicago and centered on fictional murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly’s rise to fame— is certainly a celebrated show. Since its 1997 Broadway revival, the musical has received 6 Tony Awards, 2 Olivier Awards, and a Grammy. 

Part of the show’s appeal is its emphasis on the players themselves; it is heavily reliant on the ensemble and features a minimal set. “The Academy has so many lovely, talented people, and it is the type of show that will give everyone a chance to shine” writes Ms. Christin. A minimal set is also conducive to travel, a valuable quality considering the distance between St. Elizabeth University’s theater and the Academy. 

Despite these new developments, Ms. Christin and Ms. Erin remain familiar faces within Academy theater. The two dance instructors “began [their] journey together with theatre at the Academy in late 2017, early ‘18.” They have since then directed Bye Bye Birdie (2019), Mary Poppins (2020), The Theory of Relativity (2021), and Emma: A Pop Musical (2022).

All are welcome to audition, no matter their experience or lack thereof. Ms. Christin’s best advice: “Smile and breathe! And be willing to accept the part you are given.” The directors ask those auditioning to trust in the process; all casting decisions will be made to place students in the best position to display their talents. Regardless, the production is sure to be killer.


Auditions will take place in person on Monday, December 19th from 3:30 to 6:30PM. Video submissions are also accepted until 8:30PM. Stage crew members do not need to audition, but must fill out a form on the AOSE spring musical website. Performances of Chicago will be on April 1st and 2nd of 2023.



Chicago the Musical. “Official Site.” Chicago the Musical | Official Site, 2022, https://chicagothemusical.com/about-us/. Accessed 6 December 2022.