HAMMOND, Wis., -- St. Croix Central students take the field in the school’s production of “Damn Yankees,” running Nov. 22-23.
The musical follows Joe Boyd, a middle-aged Washington Senators fan who sells his soul to become Joe Hardy, the team’s newest, and best, player.
Director Amanda Arnold said she wanted to do something classic for this year’s production.
“Nothing’s more classic than a Fosse musical,” she said.
She knew that even if people didn’t know the musical, they’d come in and realize they know some of the songs.
The production is different from what the program, now in its third year at the high school, has done before. It features 40 cast members, 10 pit members and five to six crew members.
The relationship between Joe and his wife, and Joe and Lola, are important to understand to make the show work, Arnold said, and can be difficult, but the students have risen to the challenge.
Senior Austin Albright plays Joe. He said he enjoys the contrast of the character and what he learns as the play progresses.
Albright said he likes that this year’s play is something different. He’s been involved with musicals over the years, but he just started acting.
“I like the production aspect of it,” he said, “and being able to express yourself on stage.”
Junior Jeremiah Hubbard plays Applegate, the red-clothed character that makes the deal with Joe.
“I always love being the villain,” Hubbard said.
He enjoys that Applegate’s character is not necessarily scary, but energetic and chaotic.
This production has a different energy than ones they've done in the past, Hubbard said.
“There's less of an obvious emphasis on love, while still creating a fun environment,” he said.
Hubbard enjoys seeing everything come together, and working with everyone.
Senior Emma Knospe plays Lola, and said she loves it. The performance required her to learn more about character development and maturity.
“It was really cool to see how a character so different from me, I can actually so relate to,” she said.
This production is fun and dynamic, she said, and different from the other shows they've done.
“Being a part of theater is a really cool experience for high schoolers,” Knospe said.
The program allows them to express themselves, and open up a lot of people out of their shell.
“Damn Yankees” premieres Friday, Nov. 22, at the St. Croix Central Community Auditorium in Hammond.