Students at Spotswood High School are anxiously awaiting the first performance of this year’s musical.
The 57-member cast will take the stage Feb. 27 to perform “High School Musical,” a contemporary musical about two high school students who discover a mutual love for the stage, and a romantic love for one another.
The story follows Troy Bolton, a jock, and Gabriella Montez, a brain, who break free from the cliques that once defined them and choose to follow their true passion.
Brooke McGloon, a junior cast as a thespian in this year’s production, says the play’s message is a good lesson for anyone.
“People think they need to stick to what they normally do, but then, in the end, everyone comes together and realizes they can do anything they want,” she said of the musical.
“That’s actually a good message, I think.”
Nathan May, director of choirs, says that this message has been important for the cast itself, which — with more than 50 members — is the largest the school’s boasted in recent years and consists of an eclectic group of students, from thespians to choir students, basketball stars to members of the cheerleading squad.
May says that since auditions last November, he’s seen the students “break down walls of their own.”
“Any show that you do, you become a family and you grow together,” he said. “But this show in particular showcases [that].”
The students who have been preparing for months are finally approaching their big debut. The excitement is palpable, as they practice the choreography, the songs and their lines.
But these students, who have spent countless hours practicing, agree it’s worth the rewarding experience that theater provides.
Sophomore Sophia Witmer, who plays Gabriella, says musicals are a wonderful way to be involved in after-school activities.
“It’s such a great way to meet new people,” she said.
Senior Ariana Dellinger, cast as Sharpay Evans, agrees.
“The life experiences and the different lessons you learn, it’s just amazing,” she said, adding that this year, “teamwork and friendship are probably the two greatest lessons” she’s learned.
The camaraderie of this group is apparent, as students shared their favorite experiences of working with such a large group.
“I think there’s a lot more energy during rehearsals because there are so many different characters,” senior Jenny Yang, who plays Taylor McKessie, explained.
Though challenges certainly arise when working with such a large cast, the teamwork they’ve shown has created a strongly knit group of friends.
“When the show comes around, we really are one big happy, crazy, messed up family,” said junior Grace King, who will take the stage as Ms. Darbus.
‘Speaks For Itself’
May says attendees can expect an energetic show.
“The kids are having a blast ... [and] the show really speaks for itself,” he said. “But if you were really timid because you know the show is very popular for teenagers, then that should only fuel your interest because of how excited … and exciting the stage is going to be.”
May also shared how proud he is of the cast this year, adding that he’s looking forward to sharing this year’s musical with the audience, encouraging everyone to come out for the event.
“If folks in the community have not seen a show … they will be astounded by what these high schoolers can accomplish,” he said.
Witmer says she’s excited to finally unveil all of their hard work.
“After this whole two months, it’s going to be awesome to share what we’ve created with the audience,” she said.
Spotswood High School will present High School Musical at 7 p.m. Feb 27-March 1 and at 2 p.m. March 2 in the SHS Auditorium, 368 Blazer Dr., Penn Laird. House seating tickets are $8; $12 for preferred seating. Visit SHS’s website, blogs.rockingham.k12.va.us/shs to purchase tickets.
Contact Sarah Stacy at 574-6292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.