Encore Hits the Stage


Gina Berthiaume, Features Writer

This year, Encore performances are on Friday, December 9th at 7 pm, Saturday, December 10th at 7 pm, and Sunday, December 11th at 3 pm. There will also be shows on December 15th, 16th, and 17th at 7 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or ordered on the EHS web page. They cost $5 for students, $9 for adults, and $7 for seniors.

Encore is a variety show featuring many types of music and dance. There is a different theme each year. Encore director Randy Schafer explains, “The themes are generally pretty broad.” This year’s theme is “A Child’s Dream.” He states that “It’s everything from big band jazz to musical theater and pop tunes. It’s a lot of variety of types of songs. We can kind of make anything fit [into the theme].”

According to Schafer, the cast consists of “65 people in the singing company and another 15 or so people in the dancing company. There are 45 kids in the children’s chorus. There’s 20 kids in the jazz band, and then there’s probably 20 kids on the running and building crew and costumes.” Total? “Probably about 165,” Schafer confides.

Eagan’s first Encore performance happened 26 years ago. The show is now an annual tradition that many students participate in. Mr. Schafer describes, “All four of our high schools have versions of Encore. Apple Valley’s is called Broadway, Eastview’s is called Bravo, and Rosemount is On Stage. On Stage is where it all started. And Ms. Sagen, who opened Eagan High School, started On Stage at Rosemount, and then when she opened Eagan High School, she started Encore here.”

It’s an opportunity for lots of people to demonstrate what they can do as performers.

— Mr. Schafer

Performing in Encore is not easy. “It’s a lot of work,” says Lauren Thornton, one of the singers. “But it’s a lot of fun, and you’re with a lot of great people. You make a lot of great friends. I love being in the show. It’s a great time.”

Because Encore is Eagan High School’s biggest show of the year, many students get nervous before showtime. “Before the first show, everyone is super freaked out,” Thornton reveals. “The adrenaline just kind of pushes you to do better. It always goes really well the first couple of shows because you’re so nervous. I think it’s good that we’re nervous.”

“Why did I audition for Encore? I’m addicted to theater,” Claire Nelson, another stage performer, confesses.

But what is Encore really about? “It’s an opportunity for lots of people to demonstrate what they can do as performers. It’s about selling the song or selling the dance,” Schafer claims. Thornton had a slightly different opinion. “Encore as a whole is about kids from all the different grades coming together and having a good time and connecting with music and connecting with each other. And it’s a lot of fun,” she says.