Back to Bolles

VMD hosts their anniversary edition of Scream in its original venue


Madison Geering

VMD techs, including freshman Jacqueline Vogel-Fux (pictured right), prepare for the upcoming anniversary performance of Scream in its original venue: Bolles Theatre.

Madison Geering, Editor-in-Chief

“Let’s do the time warp again!”

The bouncy bass buzzed along the tile floors. Soft blue and red spotlights set the mood, illuminating the students’ faces with a kaleidoscope of color. The voices of Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) Vocal Music Department (VMD) reverberated through the theatre, spilling out into the adjacent hallway.

On Sept. 18, the VMD performed their first showing of their set for the annual Scream performance. For the first time in years, Scream was brought back to Bolles Theatre to honor the 40th anniversary of the performance.

Because it’s the 40th anniversary performance, we want to move Scream back into the Bolles Theatre as an homage to the tradition,” VMD director Michael Klein said.

Scream’s origins date back to 1979, when a special performance by the VMD was first raffled off at Bonita Fest, an event that takes place in the month before Scream. The choir would perform a Halloween set, originally entitled “Scream with the Machine,” in the driveway of the raffle winner and “a tradition was born,” Klein said.

““Scream with the Machine” moved to The Bolles Theater and evolved into a scripted performance,” Klein said. “[It] featured solo and group acts [accompanied by] several witty student impersonations of their directors.”

As Scream evolved, it often alternated locations between the central quad area of BVH and the traditional Bolles Theatre.

It has never been like it belongs in the quad or in Bolles Theatre. In my freshman year we had it in Bolles, and then we moved it for two years, and now it’s back in Bolles,” VMD Music Machine Dance Captain Adriana Gonzlaez said.

The change in the venue not only represented the anniversary of the event, but also eased some safety concerns with hosting the event outside.

“During the day it’s always really hot, and the risers, [the raised platforms that the VMD performs on], were already set up,” Gonzalez said. “As it turned to night, the risers would get really wet [with dew] and a lot of people would fall because it was slippery, but that won’t be a problem this year.”

Klein agrees that the move inside will counter the potential “danger of rain” before or during the performance.

When hosted outside, the acoustics also posed a challenge to the students. Since the quad was such a large outdoor space, the VMD had to professionally record their set, and sing along with the track in order to make it loud enough for their audience.

“The sound doesn’t project if we sing without a track. You wouldn’t be able to hear anything we sing,” Gonzlaez said.

The audience experience is an integral part of the Scream event, seeing as it incorporates carnival games and concessions beyond the initial performance.

“Scream is the most interactive with the audience. It’s more up-close and personal, and I really enjoy how you get more of a connection with the audience,” Gonzalez said.

In order to share the nostalgia of Scream’s 40th anniversary with the audience, the set’s theme was that of a “time warp.” Throughout the performance, the students were transported back in time through the VMD’s history. At each stage, they performed a different song amplifying that time period. At the beginning of the performance, Klein announced that several of the songs were favorites of past students, the previous VMD director Gale Kennedy and even the man who the theatre was dedicated to: Ron Bolles.

“As a tribute, we are bringing some old songs back to life in the place where they were originally sung,” Gonzalez said. “My mom has seen Scream both inside and outside, and she has told me that having it in Bolles really does create a stronger personal connection.”