Disney’s ‘High School Musical’ to be performed at Sylania SouthviewWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Chase Will, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
On April 24-26, Disney’s “High School Musical” will be performed by the Sylania Southview High School theater department.
According to Brandi Shepard, the director, this high-energy musical includes themes relatable to all students.
“We’re not just taking the movie and putting it onstage. We’re really making it our own,” said Shepard. “We’re really trying to make these characters real-to-life, not just caricatures. I think the message from the show is something every high school kid can relate to. It’s about figuring out where you belong, whether or not you’re in the right clique. It’s really high-energy.”
One of Shepard’s biggest challenges was changing rehearsal schedules to accommodate extra school hours, which resulted from excessive snow days. The show involves over 100 students who are either acting or working on the technical crew.
“It’s a lot to manage,” Shepard said. “I always try to stress to the kids that academics come first, that they need to use their study halls and weekends to get ahead. Rehearsals are 3 hours, and with extended school days it can be hard.”
Shepard said one of her biggest goals is to teach them acting techniques rather than let them imitate actors from the film. The 68-student cast includes a wide variety of stage experience, and Shepard said even the shyer students become energetic when they’re creating their characters.
“I play the crazy theatre teacher, Ms. Darbus,” said sophomore Sara Young. “Specifically for my character, it’s easy to connect because I’m a theater freak. I’ve been doing theater for 12 years, and this is my 25th show.”
In addition to acting, the show also gives students the opportunity to work in technical design and run crew.
“This is my first time being set designer for a show,” said senior Theron Wineinger. “What I like about it is it really brings people together.”
“Being stage manager is great because it’s a very technical role, but I also get to interact with the actors and the set crew,” said Erin Duffee, a junior.
According to Shepard, many of her students plan on specializing in technical theater after graduation. Past graduates have earned their Screen Actors Guild memberships and Equity cards.
“When you’re part of theater you’re part of a family, and you’ve always got someone to eat lunch with. It makes me happy to see that attitude in my students,” Shepard said. “I also have a wonderful booster organization. They’ve done so much to help me spoil the kids.”
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at southviewtheatre.org and showtix4u.com. Cost is $8-$20 depending on seating. Although tickets are available at the door, reservations are recommended. Sylvania Southview High School is located at 7225 Sylvania Ave.