For George Rogers Clark High School choir teacher Kasey Standridge, her first year of teaching hit a bump in the road when she had to switch musicals after beginning teaching the original selection.
Standridge first began conducting “Legally Blonde,” a musical based on the movie and Broadway show of the same name. The further she got into teaching the piece to the drama students, she realized that there were some moral issues with some scenes.
Standridge then switched to “The Pirates of Penzance,” a 19th century light opera.
“It was a better fit for the community,” she said.
She also said that in choosing this piece, it attracted more male students into the show. She used the auditions from “Legally Blonde” to cast the roles in the newly chosen musical.
“The Pirates of Penzance,” Standridge said, is more popular in the form of a musical in high schools and is mainly performed as an opera in colleges. She performed in the operetta while she was an undergraduate student at Sam Houston State University in Texas. She also obtained her graduate degree from Morehead State University, which is how she ended up teaching choir in Clark County.
“I fell in love with the area,”¿she said. “This was a fresh start. I didn’t know anybody here.”
She spoke highly of her Pirate crew as they sang and danced on stage during a dress rehearsal Monday evening.
“I love them. They’re all laid back,” Standridge said. “It was hard getting commitment at first, but these last couple weeks, they’ve really stepped it up.”
Standridge said the students have been there working on the piece on weekends and their occasional days off.
GRC black history teacher Amy Madsen is the assistant director of the musical as well as the choreographer. She said that she had done choreography before in cheerleading, but she had never choreographed a musical. Madsen volunteered to help in any way and Standridge appointed her to instruct the characterizing movements.
“She amazing,” said Madsen of Standridge. “And the kids are so easy to work with. They’re a dream. And they’re so smart; they pick up on things just like that.”
She said that this musical is educational as well as entertaining with its historical aspects and period of dress.
She also said that the kids were “super flexible” when they had to switch plays.
“More guys came out when we switched,” Madsen said in accordance to Standridge.
The musical will have school showings and will then have public performances on March 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets for children and students are $5 and adults are $8.
The performances will be filled with comedic characters, bright costumes and catchy tunes with classical undertones.
Contact¿Kendall Sparks at email@example.com