‘High School Musical’ comes to life


Nick Miller

Students participating in High School Musical rehearse “We’re all in this together.” Tickets for this production can be purchased in the school store or online at: http://www.johncarroll.org/arts/dramatic-arts/disney-high-school-musical

The fall theater production of “Disney’s High School Musical” is “the current generation’s ‘Grease,’” Assistant Director and Co-Choreographer Larry Hensley said.

“Everybody loves ‘High School Musical,’” senior and lead Emma Kleinberg, who plays nerd-turned-thespian Gabriella Montez, said. “It’s going to be a really good show.”

The musical, which is based on the 2006 movie of the same name, stays true to the plot of the original film.

“A lot of kids watched the movie. They’re going to be surprised at how good the play is, compared to the movie,” senior Mateus Maccieri said.


Theater draws from widening circle of students

“High School Musical” is the first play that Maccieri has participated in at JC. According to him, Hensley and Director and Co-Choreographer Kim Brueggemann spoke to the whole basketball team about doing the play.

“[We] spoke about the opportunity for them to be involved in something other than basketball, for the opportunity for something that would expand their horizons and help them become more confident people [off of] the basketball court,” Brueggemann said.

Though only Maccieri and fellow senior Kaminski Stuckey, who was in “Footloose” last spring, auditioned for “High School Musical,” four other players also expressed interest and regret that they could not try out.

“A lot of people were thinking about it, but a few of the players are also in football. Other players are trying to focus on their academics because when basketball season comes, their time is going to be limited,” Maccieri said. “I can manage my time and I’m doing well in school, so I took advantage of that fact.”

Rehearsals have been nearly every day with vocal practices mixed in about once a week, according to Vocal and Orchestra Director Julie Parrish.

“The hardest thing [about ‘High School Musical’ rehearsals] is a lack of attendance because a lot of people are at sports or missing,” senior Sam Wieczynski, who plays Martha Cox, said.

“Practices are very long because we have to do night rehearsals, from 6-9 [p.m.], so everyone can be there,” junior Olivia Lang said. “It’s definitely a challenge when people aren’t there, but when people are there, it comes together.”

Lang plays the part of Sharpay Evans, the dramatic and demanding star of the “High School Musical” theater department.

“I am excited to play this role. This is what I went out for. I don’t want people to see this and think I’m actually a diva because I promise I’m not anything like her in any way,” Lang said.

‘Practicing what we preach’

According to several theater members, the most unique aspect of the production of “High School Musical” is its resemblance to real life.

“It’s the epitome of high school. It showcases all of the different cliques and extracurricular interests of teenagers and how those topics intermingle and how the student body finds a way to make everybody work together,” Brueggemann said.

With so many new faces, the play is getting more attention than ever.

“Everybody’s constantly asking ‘How are rehearsals going?’ or ‘Who’s this part?’, and they’re always really shocked to hear when a basketball player or football player’s a main part because they wouldn’t expect that,” Lang said.

The high proportion of actors who also participate in athletics reinforces the message of the show, though it makes rehearsals more difficult to plan according to Hensley.

“The concept of everybody not sticking to the status quo or staying within their cliques and branching out and stepping outside their comfort zone is a good thing,” Hensley said. “That’s why we’re trying to work with so many different sectors of the school and pull people in even though it’s hard to coordinate. [We] want to practice what we’re preaching.”

Parrish agrees. “It’s really great to see everybody being integrated,” she said.

Maccieri is glad he joined the play. “It’s pretty fun actually. I never thought I was going to be in a play, but now that I’m in one, I like it,” he said.

Tickets for “High School Musical” are available online or in the school store for the Nov. 7-9 shows.

Kathy Deaver is the Online Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.