SPRING VALLEY, Wis. -- Jocks, thespians and brainiacs are all in this together for a performance of "High School Musical Jr." this weekend at the Spring Valley Stagehands Theatre.
The story follows East High School students on their journey producing their school musical as well as the challenges they face in maintaining (and breaking) the status quo. The performance is a shortened version of the Disney classic movie.
Basketball team captain Troy Bolton (Elijah DuMond) and new brainiac student Gabriella Montez (Kari Hybben) try out for the school’s musical leads while the romance between them grows throughout the performance. Meanwhile Sharpay Evans (Emma Esanbock) and her brother Ryan Evans (Max Schmitt) try to sabotage their relationship and take their places as the leads.
The musical was chosen for its appeal to a wide range of students. According to director Ann Turner, there was an excellent turnout for audition. There are 33 student actors, one student choreographer and one student running the sound system. The hour long performance is ideal for audiences of all ages.
"It's fun to just have all of your effort pay off into a great audience response," student actor Esanbock said. "It really makes you feel good about all of the work you put into it."
Many of the student performers are involved in other extracurriculars, which occasionally made practicing for the musical a challenge. Even through the conflicting schedules, the students were able to work hard to get the play to performance level. They began practicing at the beginning of the year and practiced during their study hall and lunch break.
“Almost like two to three hours every night,” Ella Esanbock (who plays Taylor McKessie) added.
Although some of the actors are experienced, others are making their first debut. All however, agreed that performing in the musical has brought them closer together.
If you go…
What: "High School Musical Jr."
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and 2 p.m. Nov. 10
Where: Spring Valley Stagehands Theatre, S234 McKay St.
How much: $5