By Derek Etter
Social Media and Marketing Editor
Most remember Steven Spielberg as the director of the critically-acclaimed E.T., or George Lucas for his work on Star Wars.
Perhaps even Sophia Coppola for her work on The Outsiders.
This year, students are now recognizing their new director for the school's spring musical, Dr. Cari Ayala.
After the departure of Red Lion's normal director and choreographer, the slots were open
for this year's musical, “Rock of Ages.”
After conducting interviews among dancers and directors across York, the rest of the leadership team for Red Lion's theatre program announced to student members that Dr. Ayala would be both their new director and choreographer.
"I am a little scared," Ayala said. "This is something big, and I've never directed before.”
While this may be her first gig as a director, Ayala is certainly no stranger to the Red Lion stage.
"I choreographed [the musicals] here for six years," Ayala said. "‘High School Musical’ was my favorite. I felt the most like a director in that one."
Another credit she cited was choreographing "In The Heights," a musical by Lin Manuel Miranda, which was performed at her daughter's high school, William Penn.
However, that isn't her only dance experience.
From her childhood, Ayala began learning to dance.
"I grew up dancing," she said, "from around 3 years old, I began ballet."
She trained primarily in ballet, but also has learned hip hop and modern dancing as well.
In addition to dance, she is also a fan of musicals, her favorite being Sondheim's "West Side Story."
"I love all of the music," she said, "and the mixing of two cultures in one show."
As director of the musical, along with a select few students who have gone through the audition process, she will have to step into her own role.
From blocking scenes and making dances to overseeing costumes and set design, Ayala will have much to do to get prep the for the show.
This year's show, “Rock of Ages,” is jukebox musical that opened on Broadway in 2011.
Also a movie, it is known for its lengthy repertoire of 80's rock musical numbers, taken straight from the radio hits of yesterday.
Dr. Ayala describes it as a "satire of musicals and eighties culture itself."
From power to the people protests to breaking the fourth wall, the show seems to paint a wacky description of city life in the eighties for the theatre to portray.
When asked what the biggest obstacle for her first time director, Dr. Ayala rubbed her head and thought.
"Time management and balance, and so far writing the schedule," she said.
With the determination she shows, it seems Dr. Ayala is going to hit this with her best shot.
You can buy tickets in the library for the shows, which run from Thurs. March 8 to Sun. March 11.
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