Joliet West GI presents… Hercules

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Alih Rangel, Staff Writer

Strange body movements, dialogues directed at the crowd, lively gestures for dramatic effect, and words spoken in synchronization are all things one might see in a Group Interpretation performance. To bring this all to life for the 2021-2022 Group Interpretation, Joliet West High School put on Hercules.

Mount Olympus, terrifying monsters, and selfless heroes were all a part of the plot. Just as Hercules proved his formidable strength, Joliet West’s GI was able to prove their abilities and even make it all the way to IHSA State.

The group killed it at Sectionals, showing their own might as they qualified for State. Their effort paid off and they managed to snag fifth place as a team overall at State.

But it wasn’t all glamorous performances and velvet curtains for Joliet West’s group interpretation bunch. There were many bumps along the way, but they pushed through and overcame.

Preparing for their final performances included long nights at the school, and raspy, dry voices after long hours of rehearsing. They spent grueling months practicing and working towards a well-earned fifth place statewide achievement.

During the season, one of the actors even injured their leg and could not continue to perform, but this year’s GI clique pushed right on ahead, knowing that the show must go on.

“Fifth is the best Joliet West has ever done at Group Interpretation State, so it’s super exciting to be part of it as a freshman. I think the greatest thing we achieved was making a show that we truly love,” says Bethany Yanchick, Joliet West’s Group Interpretation musician. “We put so much time into ‘Hercules’–rehearsing from 3:15–9 pm a lot of nights, and even sleeping in the school for an extra-long rehearsal, but it was so much and so worth it.”