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MHS senior creates backdrop for middle school musical

January 31, 2024 02:57 PM
MHS senior Jaxon Wasseluk

When Carl Sandburg Band Director Moulee Gupta was searching for a backdrop for the school’s annual musical, “Descendants,” she hoped to find something special to match the enthusiasm her students were putting into the show.

“It was just about finding the right people to make the magic come alive,” she said.

The right people, it turned out, were at nearby Mundelein High School. She first talked to Mundelein Theatre Director Jonathan Meier who put her in touch with the MHS Art Department staff. It turns out they had a student, senior Jaxon Wasseluk, who had painted the scenery for last spring’s MHS musical, “In the Heights.”

When Moulee reached out to Jaxon, he was surprised but excited.

“I hoped someone would notice what I did for In the Heights, but I didn’t expect much from it,” he said. “So when she contacted me about Descendants I was super-excited.”

Jaxon, who has taken just about every art class available at MHS and plans to study art in college next year, was not only a big fan of the Disney musical, but has a strong interest in street art.

This was another opportunity to meld his interests.

The challenge was the material and the medium. Jaxon would be painting on a silk screen curtain and using spray paint - both firsts for him. He worked for hours at a time over a few days to complete the project.

“I’m very happy with it. Especially since the background was so hard to work with,” he said. “I think it turned out great. I’m just glad I got the opportunity and the experience.”

To watch a time-lapse video of the painting process, click on this link.

"Descendants" will run from Thursday, Feb. 1 to Sunday, Feb. 4 at the Lincoln School Stage. For show details and ticket information, visit this page on the Carl Sandburg website.

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