Fall Musical

Easthampton High School's annual fall musical for the 2017-2018 school year is High School Musical.

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Fall Musical

Alice Wanamaker, Journalist

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You might occasionally hear people singing songs from High School Musical for no specific reason-just because it is a pop culture phenomenon that nearly everyone our age has watched. But for the past few months, a select group of students has been singing those songs much more often than the school in general. The EHS Drama Club is putting on a production of High School Musical On Stage!, the live performance version of the hit Disney movie. Auditions were held the second week of school, and the cast has been rehearsing three times a week ever since. 

It’s a lot of fun to work on a show that most of the cast partially knows beforehand. Sophomore Jordyn Reil, who plays the lead role of Gabriella Montez, says that she’s watched the movie “at least five thousand times”. The fact that she knew her character beforehand makes getting the lead even more exciting: “I was a huge fan of Gabriella before this happened, so getting to play her as myself is very cool”. 

The basic plot and characters of High School Musical On Stage are the same as in the movie, and your favorite songs from the movie are all included in the show. However, there are some significant changes. Senior Kiernan Jones, who plays Ryan Evans, is excited about “people’s reactions, because it’s different than the movie”.

“There’s a lot of singing,” says Lorenze Beltran, a senior playing Troy Bolton. Indeed, one of our three weekly rehearsals is entirely singing. That rehearsal is held in Mr. Uliasz’s room (he is the music director of the show), and the process is similar to being in chorus class; a starting warm-up, then going slowly through every song in the show, and then learning the individual parts. Even in a show like High School Musical, where a lot of people have been singing the songs for years, there’s a lot to learn; only about a quarter of the cast is singing the melody, and the rest are singing harmonies that they haven’t learned from being fans of the movie. “It’s harder than it looks,” says sophomore Lauren Bongiovanni, who plays Sharpay Evans. “It definitely wasn’t a clean process,” Kiernan agrees. 

The other two rehearsals are spent in the auditorium, blocking and choreographing with director Matt Meers. Despite the complexity of the show, and the many quick ‘movie-like’ scenes involved in this show in particular, the performance is starting to come together. “It’s very complicated, but very organized at the same time,” Jordyn says. A few days ago, the cast completed its first ‘stumble-through’ of the second act. Similar to the ‘stumble-through’ of the first act a few weeks prior, many people were surprised at how much they actually knew, and how it’s getting closer to a finished show. Lauren is enjoying “seeing how it all comes together.” 

EHS’s production of High School Musical On Stage! will run from November 16-19, 2017.

Stay tuned for a look at the backstage crew’s take on putting the show together.