Watching a performance of Seussical, you might think you are seeing double. While they are not twins, the Spektor sisters play a convincing role as Thing 1 and Thing 2 in this year’s winter musical. Valerie Spektor '22 (Thing 1) and Maya Spektor '23 (Thing 2) flip, leap, and twist their way across the stage, mesmerizing the audience.
While performing these acrobatic feats, these mischievous characters effortlessly mimic one another; the performance captures the dynamic of their lives outside of school, for it’s evident that these bilingual sisters (their parents are from the Ukraine and taught their daughters Russian) have a close bond. They tend to do a lot together, which is good considering the girls juggle hectic schedules. In addition to their school work, their lives revolve around gymnastics, Norfolk Academy's Swimming & Diving Team, playing an array of musical instruments, coding, and Model UN, to name a few.
Now they can add being in their first big production to the list.
Coming from a competitive gymnastics background was crucial to the two receiving their parts in this year’s musical. They were not initially planning on auditioning. One day, Valerie was talking with Ms. Caroline Bisi, the musical director, when she jokingly mentioned trying out. Ms. Bisi encouraged her and her sister to try out for Thing 1 and Thing 2, and after taking some time to reflect, they decided to go for it.
They had to sing in their audition which, admittedly, made the girls nervous. However, they stifled their nerves and landed the roles. Now, they cannot shake the songs they hear and sing along to during rehearsals.
“I had one song stuck in my head during a math test I took earlier,” said Valerie, to which Maya laughed and said, “I have one in my head right now!”
Of course, as is typical in most sibling dynamics, they do not always see eye-to-eye. Yet, they can both relate to the magic created by their Seussical characters.
“We can kind of relate to (Thing 1 and Thing 2) because they are wild, crazy, and energetic…like us!” said Valerie.
Despite their jam-packed schedules, Valerie and Maya manage to find creative ways to practice for their parts in the musical. They practice wherever they go, whether in the car, at their home, or out running errands. In fact, you may have witnessed them rehearsing with their friend who plays Young Kangaroo, Virginia Ames Tillar ’21, if you visited Trader Joe’s within the past couple of months.
One of their favorite aspects about joining the winter musical this year is the bond that is created between them and the other students in the cast and crew.
“Upper School students help the Middle School students, and those who have been in a fall play or winter musical help those of us who have not,” said Valerie. “Even though there can be a big age difference, we all get along.”
“We all have inside jokes and everyone says hi, even if we don’t know them as well,” said Maya. “The crew in the sound booth will do something to try to get the cast to laugh. We like to have fun and learn from one another; we taught Alek Sas ’18 (who plays the Cat in the Hat) how to hula hoop!”
Although it is difficult to choose just one reason as to why the sisters believe everyone should see the show, they were able to come up with an answer, “There is something for everyone…for all age groups to enjoy,” said Maya. Valerie agreed and added, “I’m excited for all the jokes and the songs; I can’t wait to make people laugh. It’s the best feeling!”
Come see the Spektor sisters and the amazing cast and crew perform Seussical in performances running through Sunday. Tickets are available for purchase online, so get yours today!