Madison-Plains presents ‘High School Musical’ March 22-24

Messenger photo by Jeff Pfeil
Among the cast members in Madison-Plains’ upcoming production of “High School Musical” are: (front row, from left) David Neely, Jayden Ruedy, Addi Phillips (in the white dress), Laura Furbee, Alysa Geyer; (back row) Matthew Neely, Leland Snyder, Svetlana Daniels, Kylie Hartless, Briseis Reategui, Sarah Scheiderer, and Brianna Thompson.

(Posted March 13, 2024)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Disney’s “High School Musical” is about two people finding love and finding their best friends in the craziness that high school brings to life. It’s this storyline and the lessons that come with it that made Katie Manns, Madison-Plains High School musical director, choose the show for the school’s spring stage production. Performance dates are March 22-24.

“The show’s bigger meaning is about fighting for what is right, even if you are alone or going against the status quo, and it shows the importance of accepting people for who they are. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to it,” Manns said.

With a cast of 20, “High School Musical” is the biggest show Madison-Plains has ever done, Manns said, noting that well over half of the student performers are new to the stage. For the first time, middle-schoolers are part of the production, too.

“It’s kind of cool because they are coming in with fresh eyes,” Manns said about the newcomers. “They didn’t know what to expect, so I have had the pleasure of watching them fall in love with theater.”

She noted that every member of this year’s cast is involved in at least one other extracurricular activity in addition to the musical.

“Sports, 4-H, dance, Quick Recall, bowling, band… I have to brag on that a little bit. Even with everything else they have going on, they still give the musical everything they’ve got,” she said.

Manns hopes this fresh and engaged interest will help Madison-Plains’ theater program to grow in years to come. She also hopes to continue forging bonds with other area theater programs to further spread the joy and support for the performing arts.

“We have made amazing contacts with the theater departments at other schools. We find out what they are doing and go see their shows when we can,” Manns explained. “The students get to make life-long friends in the arts community that way.”

Manns said she is appreciative of the support she has received from the community in preparing for this year’s production, from individuals who helped to build the set to the musicians playing in the live band. She also gave shout-outs to: Pamela Price, assistant director; Carol Tewalt, pianist; senior Emily LeGault, student director; and senior Bobby Wood, technical director.

On a special note, Manns is dedicating this year’s musical to Joanie Boyle, a mentor, teacher, coach, and friend who taught at Madison-Plains and lost her battle to cancer last year.

“Joanie always supported the arts, along with many other student activities, and her legacy will continue to live on,” Manns said.

Show times Madison’ Plains production of “High School Musical’ are 7 p.m. on March 22-23 and 2:30 p.m. on March 24. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at or at the door. Manns encourages anyone who plans to attend to purchase tickets online and early.

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