Events: Pioneer High School to present Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda the Musical’

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Pioneer junior Martha Laramore-Josey stars as Matilda. (Courtesy: Pioneer Theatre Guild)

ANN ARBOR – Pioneer Theatre Guild will be the first high school theater group in Michigan to present Roald Dahl’s “Matilda the Musical” at Schreiber Auditorium beginning in November.

The Tony Award-winning play tells the story of Matilda, an intelligent and witty little girl who has psychokinetic powers.

Her cruel parents pay no attention to her, but she forms a special bond with her kind schoolteacher, Miss Honey. The school’s headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, is a mean woman who hates children and enjoys punishing rule breakers. With her cleverness and courage, Matilda just might be the one to change things at the school.

Pioneer junior Martha Laramore-Josey stars as Matilda.

“It is the most exciting role I’ve ever had the chance to play, but also the most challenging,” Laramore-Josey said in a statement. “Matilda was actually the second Broadway show I ever saw, and it’s come full circle, which is super cool. I’m really looking forward to sharing her story with an audience.”

Noah Wolfe, a senior at the University of Michigan’s Musical Theatre Department, is directing the production. “I like to think of starting a show as joining a conversation, not starting one,” he said in a statement. “Years of work happened on this show before we were given the privilege and joy of taking part in it.”

Wolfe has previously worked with the Pioneer Theatre Guild as assistant director of the group’s springtime production of “In the Heights.”

Pioneer senior Sam Marchand is the production’s costumes crew head, and said she has never worked on a show like this before.

“We’ve never done a show where the cast are all supposed to be young kids, so that’s a lot of fun to design,” said Marchand in a statement.

“The costume designs for this show are so much fun, especially the Wormwood family’s costumes since they’re so eccentric and Miss Trunchbull’s costumes just because of her character. I love being costumes crew head because I love that I get to teach others how to sew. Part of my job as crew head is teaching recruits how to sew, and show them how great costumes crew is.”

Matilda Pioneer musicalRehearsals for “Matilda.” (Courtesy: Pioneer Theatre Guild)


Miss Trunchbull will be played by junior Lucas Connor, who said the character is a joy to play.

“I feel so extremely thrilled to be playing Miss Trunchbull,” said Connor in a statement “It is nearly every actor’s dream to play such a unique and fun character like her, and I am so grateful to be given the opportunity. She is the opposite of Matilda in that sense, where Matilda thinks ‘sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty,’ but Trunchbull believes ‘you have to stay inside the circle all the time’ but at the end of the day, both characters learn something valuable from the other.”

By Meredith Bruckner – Community News Producer