Gypsy Music Director Megan Gabehart and her children, Spencer and Isabel.
While Megan Gabehart is known for being all-business when she picks up her conductor’s baton to direct the musical aspect of a show, she admits to being a bit emotional about "Gypsy." It’s the first production she’s done with her children and her mother.
Megan, a music teacher for K-8 at Meadow View Grade School in Labette County, has served as the show's musical director through six weeks of rehearsals and directs the pit orchestra of 17 musicians. It’s her 10th year to be part of PCT, for which she also directs Jr. Starz Children’s Theatre Workshop each summer.
Daughter Isabel, 6, plays an instrument in the opening act of Gypsy, sort of: As one of the multiple children trying out for Uncle Jocko’s Kiddie Show of the Vaudeville Era, she blows a few awkward notes on the clarinet.
Son Spencer, 9, is featured in the third, fourth, and fifth scenes of Act 1 as a newsboy and sailor in the vaudeville act that Mama Rose hopes puts Baby June and Baby Louise on the path to fame.
And Megan’s mother, Barbara York — herself a former musical theater director and noted composer who works as a rehearsal accompanist at Pitt State — is the master of the keyboard.
“Usually it’s business as usual, and luckily my kids are used to that because they get that from me at school,” Megan said. “Isabel struggles with it more than Spencer, because she is younger, but he is really independent during rehearsal when I’m busy, and tries his best not to even talk to me unless it’s important.”
“I do get a little emotional when I see them on stage, though,” she said. “I’m very proud of them.” As for working with her mother — that’s standard.
“We have worked together so much over the years, we have definitely found a way to work without the family dynamic,” Megan said. “Especially since I am her boss, essentially. I call her Barbara when we are working, instead of Mom, and that helps kind of set that relationship with different boundaries.”
“Luckily, she is amazing, and was music directing for theatre long before I was even born, so she gets it.”
Don't miss hearing Megan, Barbara, Isabel and Spencer perform in "Gypsy" July 28-31; tickets are on sale now at www.memorialauditorium.org and at the box office at 503 N. Pine, 620-231-7827.
Rehearsal accompanist and pit orchestra keyboardist Barbara York, a noted composer and Megan Gabehart's mother.