Skip to content

Milton Hershey School Students to Perform ‘Matilda’

When “Matilda” opens on the Milton Hershey School Founders Hall stage Thursday, audiences will enjoy the work of more than 50 MHS students.

“Matilda” tells the story of a misunderstood and under-appreciated child with vast intellect and psychic powers. The show includes complex sets, energetic dance numbers, moving solos, powerful dialogue, and a hardworking, talented cast and crew.

Milton Hershey School 10th-grader Maame Asante plays the title character in the school's production of "Matilda."

MHS 10th-grader Maame Asante plays the title character. Maame and her castmates began rehearsals in November, but her preparation began much earlier.

“I went through a phase where I was obsessed with the Broadway soundtrack,” Maame said. “When this year’s show was announced, I just wanted to be part of it.”

Maame enrolled at MHS in ninth grade and has been involved with musical productions since third grade. The MHS Visual and Performing Arts program gives her many opportunities to explore her passions and collaborate with her peers.

“VPA is all about connection, having relationships with other people through dance, music, and the arts,” she said. “It helps me express myself in different ways that don’t come out in talking.”

Matilda's parents discover she died her father's hair.

Playing Matilda has been a character-building experience for Maame.

“Even if you are little, you can do a lot. In her song, Matilda sings that,” she said. “I am a short person so that is something that I resonate with. This experience empowers me to be like Matilda and I can do what I want just as I am.”

“Matilda” features several solos and company numbers, but the audience will not see all the show’s stars. Behind the scenes, a crew of about 20 students dressed in black silently ensure lights, sound, video, and set changes flow flawlessly.

Stage Managers Mecca Stever and Helena Kalbach work behind the scenes during Milton Hershey School's production of "Matilda."

Stage Manager Mecca Stever joined stage crew in eighth grade. The senior credits the opportunities MHS provided him for his ability to manage a show with 32 scene changes.

“It’s stressful but I enjoy the chaos,” he said. “It is a very intensive show, but it is a very cool show to watch.”

The musical’s other stage manager, Helena Kalbach, said communication and teamwork are key as the production unfolds.

“There is a lot that goes into building this. I enjoy the challenge of getting everything right so it doesn’t affect the show,” Helena said.

She added working behind the scenes on “Matilda” has taught her everyday technical skills such as craftsmanship that will benefit her post-graduation.

Two Milton Hershey School students sing a song during the 2024 production of "Matilda."

The public is invited to attend “Matilda” performances in Founders Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Feb. 29-March 2, as well as a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 2. Tickets are not needed and admission is free.

Explore Visual and Performing Arts at MHS

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.