Next up at West T. Hill Community Theatre will be a youth-driven musical that explores how high school students deal with cliques and stereotypes. “High School Musical Jr.” is a shorter version of “High School Musical,” a play based on the Disney film.
“High School Musical Jr.” is directed by Maggie Tirey, who took time to answer questions about the show.
A-M: Who are the key players in “High School Musical Jr.”?
MT: The story focuses around Troy (Zane Arnold) and Gabriella (Hannah Draut). These two students meet and it causes them to question the people that they are. I took a risk with Troy and Gabriella by casting one newcomer to the WTH stage along with one of our regulars. I took the same risk with the brother and sister pair of Sharpay (Grayson Yaden) and Ryan (Dylan Godbey). I believe that when the audience comes to see the show, they will see that these risks definitely paid off. The great thing about HSMJ is that there aren’t any small roles. All of our cast is involved in the dances and the songs including some of our regulars (Sue Cook, Javan and Jasmine Jones, Hannah Daugherty, to name a few) as well as some newcomers to our stage (Annabelle Graves, James and Mary Joyce, Nick Walker, to name a few).
A-M: What is the time and place setting for “High School Musical Jr.”?
MT: “High School Musical Jr.” is set in the present, and most of the story takes place at East High School.
A-M: What is the central theme of “High School Musical Jr.”?
MT: You can be so much more than the box that people put you into.
A-M: Why did you decide to direct “High School Musical Jr.”? What is your background with directing?
MT: “High School Musical Jr.” is actually the first show that I have directed on my own. I’ve been a assistant director in the past and well as directing a few skits for the camp at West T. Hill’s “Campcausewelovetoact.” At the beginning of the spring, the managing director broke her shoulder and the board felt that she needed to take some time to recover. So I asked if I could take over the summer show because it was something that I was very interested in. I love working with kids at the theater and could not think of a better way to spend my summer.
A-M: What has been the up side of directing “High School Musical Jr.” for you?
MT: There have been so many up sides to directing “High School Musical Jr.” My cast is absolutely amazing. I have been blessed with not only a talented cast, but a fun cast. Even while we were working hard, we also had a great time.
A-M: What has been the challenge for you of directing “High School Musical Jr.”?
MT: As a first-time director, I have been so surprised at how much you have to do as a director. It’s been a challenge to keep everything straight and on time. Luckily I’ve had an amazing support system in my mother, Beth Marlowe (my music director), and a good friend, Jameisha Smith (stage manager/set artist.) They have both kept me on track.
A-M: If someone asked you, “Why should I see “High School Musical Jr.”?” what would you say?
MT: I’d say come see “High School Musical Jr.” because it it fun. “High School Musical Jr.” is full of songs and dance numbers performed by some amazing kids.
IF YOU GO
“High School Musical Jr.”
July 6-8, 13-15 and 20-22
West T. Hill Community Theatre
Showtimes: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: (859) 319-0205 or www.westthill.com