by Becca Petersen
Mean Girls has been such a rewarding experience. I am so grateful to be in a position where all of my skills are being used and appreciated. At Mean Girls I swing the female ensemble, understudy Regina George and Cady Heron, and am assistant dance captain. To say it is thrilling would be an understatement!
I have always looked up to Casey Nicholaw. He is a dancer and began his career performing in the ensemble. As I have worked with him on multiple contracts, I have observed how strongly his performing experience is reflected in his movement and staging. He personally understands the effectiveness of the ensemble.
Mean Girls would not be possible without the students of North Shore High! The Plastics are nothing without their followers. Casey uses pedestrian movement to create a realistic high school and then seamlessly morphs into intense choreography. This is brilliantly executed in the number “Apex Predator.” The ensemble shows all emotions while observing The Plastics at the mall, turning into animals in Africa, back to teenagers, and then dancing with force to make a smooth transition. The dancers are multitalented and can do everything!
The dancers in the ensemble are first and foremost actors. They each have a name and specific purpose. I believe that is why Casey has had so much success with this company. Everyone onstage is bringing honesty and creativity to their full-of-life characters. The dancers aren’t afraid of making choices. We are all on the same page working toward the same goal: entertaining while teaching/reminding everyone to treat people with dignity. I am so happy Casey’s choreography is being recognized and celebrated.
I have now been in the show a few times and have experienced the true joy it feels to dance Casey’s choreography on a Broadway stage. His movement and staging has intention and distinct purpose. We are the storytellers. When I am not onstage, I feel extremely lucky that I get to see my friends in a hit Broadway show every night!!