The start of the “High School Musical” ‘school year’


Photo provided by: Faith Shimick

Students rehearse choreography for “Stick to the Status Quo” on Feb. 16’s rehearsal. “The singing and the dancing [are my favorite part],” senior Denver Graham said. “It’s not hard for me, stuff like this comes naturally.”

Faith Shimick, News and Copy Editor

On Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, initial auditions were held for the spring production of Disney’s ‘High School Musical.’ The next day, callbacks were held, and the day after that, the cast list came out. While there are always bound to be surprises, most cast members were elated to see the results of their hard work.

“I was beyond ecstatic when I got the call saying I got Sharpay,” senior Jenn Mason said. “I was with Nolan [Phillips] at the time and he got his call saying he was Ryan right after so we got to celebrate together. I was so excited at the thought that I would spend my senior musical alongside one of my closest friends.”

Forced to do  shows with limited cast and crew numbers since the cancellation of “Chicago” in March 2020, students inside and out of Troupe 2888 were looking forward to the start of what will hopefully be a great spring season. Many people showed up to auditions for multiple reasons, whether it was to be part of such a well-known musical or because it had been so long since they were a part of such a big production. 

“​​High School Musical was recommended by the members of the Thespian Troupe and voted on,” co-director and assistant principal Donald Fields said. “Mr. Powers and I felt like it was a great selection because the story does an amazing job describing how you can celebrate diversity and also create unity on a school campus. Here at Lake Brantley High School, we’re working each day to do the same thing. We also knew that a big-name, major production like ‘High School Musical’ would bring out students who hadn’t participated in theatre yet, which turned out to be the case. We had over 40 students audition, including many who had never even participated in the performing arts before.”

After the cast list came out, a showing of the movie was organized to start building the camaraderie a big show like this needs to run smoothly.

“It was so much fun,” Mason said. “Everyone was so excited and we got to bond with each other. During the movie, everyone was very hype and it was just such a great cast experience.”

The relationship the cast has started building now will help carry them through the exhausting process of rehearsals, but all are confident it will make the final performance that much better.

“There is a special moment in every really phenomenal show where you as the audience forget that you’re watching people you know act out roles,” Fields said. “Your brain is convinced that they really are the characters. It means that the actors and the crew supporting them have done their job to transport you there. I know the cast and crew we have can do this. For one weekend, there will be hundreds of people walking into the Performing Arts Center thinking they’re at Lake Brantley High School, then by the finale they’ll be standing, clapping and dancing in the middle of an East High Wildcats Pep Rally.”

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