�High School Musical� opens Thursday

SSHS theater department staging popular Disney show

By TERRY MATHEWS | News-Telegram Arts Editor

Dec 12, 2007 - Forget the Hollywood writers’ strike. If the television and film industries need snappy dialogue and intriguing plots, they could just sit in the audience at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center and watch cast and crew rehearse Sulphur Springs High School's upcoming production of Disney’s “High School Musical.”

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Everyone hits their marks during the finale of Disney’s “High School Musical,” opening Thursday night at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center. The Sulphur Springs High School theater department’s production of the popular musical is under the directon of Dawn Magness (center), with choreography provided by Amanda Brandenburg (left). 

There’s enough material on that stage for several situation comedies, a few dramas and a couple of mini-series.

Here’s a sample of what was going on Tuesday night:

"I need everyone on stage.”

�Whose Coke is that?�

�Charlie, are you here?�

�Stand still or I�ll put you on the front row.�

�This is a hard dance.�

�Can someone crank up the air conditioner?�

�I�m sweating.�

�Tell me about it.�

�Please keep my mike up at all times.�

�I would like to report a stolen brown shirt.�

�Posing takes time.�

�Wait!�

�I have a better idea.�

�No, let�s not wear boots.�

�This needs to be moved.�

�What am I supposed to do?�

�Put the sign down.�

�I messed up.�

�I�m wearing a tuxedo.�

�Where�s my money?�

�Hush! Hush! Hush!�

�Where�s the EQ hookup?�

�One more time.�

At the center of all the action stands Sulphur Springs High School theater teacher Dawn Magness. She must feel like she’s riding a herd of wild dolphins. In addition to directing the play, Magness has cast herself  as Ms. Darbus, the drama coach at East High in Albuquerque, N.M. 

Magness and the talented thespians are presenting four showings of the incredibly popular “High School Musical,” with three 7 p.m. performances Thursday, Dec. 13, Friday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15, and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Dec. 16.

When it premiered on The Disney Channel on Jan. 20, 2006, the story of two star-struck teenagers trying to make their way in life drew 7.7 million viewers, making it the most successful movie in the channel’s history. The soundtrack was the number one selling album of 2006.

The story centers on Troy Bolton, captain of the football team, and Gabriella Montez, the new girl at East High. The two meet by chance during a winter break, then hook up again when Gabriella moves to town. Troy and Gabriella try out for East High’s musical, ending the reign of the school’s perennial drama department stars, twins Sharpay and Ryan Evans. The ensuing drama makes for some pretty good theatre, with all 56 cast members taking the stage in a feel-good song and dance finale.

Bolton is played by Keegan Stalcup. Katelyn Cody is Gabriella. Brittney Woolley and Jake Morehead play the Evans twins.

The show’s high-voltage choreography was created by Amanda Thompson Brandenburg, a former SSHS drama student. Brandenburg is assisted by Megan Stewart. 

Tickets for the four performances are $5 and are available at the door or by calling 903-885-2158.

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