Southeastern staging musical within musical

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Among the 50 members of Southeastern High School’s cast for “Disney’s High School Musical” are: (front row, from left) Brady Bair, Madelyn Acton, Makayla Ray, Nathan Roark; (back row) Joshua Cryder, Saylor Evans, Eli Johnson, Julie Myers, Dakota Lambert and Mozie Van Raaij.

(Posted March 3, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Southeastern High School is putting on a musical called “High School Musical” about, you guessed it, a high school musical.

For years, director Laura Madden resisted staging the Disney show because she worried her student actors would think they didn’t need to act because the characters are students just like them. This year, she bit the bullet.

“They’re finding out they still need to act, that they need to be caricatures of themselves. It’s the biggest thing we’ve been working on,” Madden said.

The show’s characters are divided into jocks, brains, thespians and skaters. The overarching message encourages students to break from the constraints of labels to explore multiple interests and forge new friendships, summed up well in the show’s main song, “We’re All in This Together.”

The two leads, Troy (played by freshman Brady Bair) and Gabriella (senior Madelyn Acton), meet on a ski trip over winter break, then reconnect when Gabriella is transferred to Troy’s school.

He is a jock who secretly likes to sing; she is a brain who sings, too. They both consider auditioning for the high school musical, but the various cliques work against them. The jocks want Troy to focus his energy on basketball. The brains want Gabriella to concentrate on the scholastic decathlon. Sharpay (senior Julie Myers), drama club president, works against them, too, as she sees Gabriella as competition for the musical’s lead role.

In the end, everyone changes their tunes, clearing a path for Troy and Gabriella, as well as for themselves.

Other lead characters in the 50-member cast include: Coach Bolton (played by senior Joshua Cryder), Ms. Darbus (senior Madysun Huff), Sharpay’s twin brother, Ryan (freshman Eli Johnson), Troy’s sidekick, Chad (sophomore Nathan Roark), Gabriella’s friend, Taylor (junior Makayla Ray), brainiac Martha (senior Saylor Evans), musical composer Kelsi (freshman Mozie Van Raaij), Jackie Scott, the school announcer (freshman Dakota Lambert), and basketball player Zeke (junior Nathan Brakeall).

The story is told through songs such as “Stick to the Status Quo,” “Get’cha Head in the Game,” “What I’ve Been Looking For” and “Breaking Free.”

“The songs are catchy, and it’s a very family-friendly show,” Madden said.

Show dates for Southeastern’s production of “High School Musical” are March 10 at 7 p.m. and March 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. If the basketball team is still in playoffs, the March 10 show will be cancelled and replaced with a March 12 show at 2 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students 18 years old and younger. For more information, call the high school at (937) 462-8308.

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