This year’s middle school musical production of High School Musical Jr. was a crowd-pleasing show full of discovery.
In a fun-filled performance of High School Musical, Jr. seventh and eighth graders had the audience smiling and applauding throughout their high-energy show! Upbeat ensemble numbers with cheerleaders, basketball players, brainiacs and thespians showcased great personality and musical talent.
In the musical’s prologue, actors highlighted the discoveries made during the production of the show.
This show is about discovery. Discovery of who you are and who you want to be. Discovery of the path the Lord has laid out for you and how that may differ from your friends’.
Narrator Meyer Petersen ‘28 added, “As crazy as it may seem, [putting on this show] really did bring us all together as a middle school. The different gifts God has blessed us with made us a better team.” Director Caroline Patterson ‘08 agreed, “This year’s show proved we are ‘all in this together!’” She explained, “Regardless of how much they had in common before rehearsals began, these students united our cast through their individual giftings and spheres of influence. I am so proud of the cast of High School Musical, Jr.!”
Oliver Dawley ‘27, who played Ryan Evans, said the theme of the show “resembles what really happens in middle school. Being myself is way better than being in a clique where you have to follow everyone else’s plans for you.”
Caroline Patterson ‘08 said her favorite part of the season was watching students grow into leaders. “By pulling from their own unique talents and experiences, our student leaders elevated the entire company’s performance.”
Prime examples, “Eighth graders Will Goolsby, Andie Patterson and Mia Murray embodied leadership for our cast,” said Mrs. Patterson. “Each one willingly took on extra responsibilities by choreographing dances and setting a tone of excellence throughout the production.”
She also praised the servant-leadership of Caroline Carl ‘27 and Micah Nini ‘27, who “sought out ways to serve castmates” and “created a culture of support backstage.” Similarly, Carson Patterson ‘27 not only danced well on stage but also “quietly served her peers by encouraging her castmates and cleaning up backstage.”
Lizzie Baker ‘27, who played lead Gabriella Montez, said the highlight of her experience was “getting ready backstage before each performance and helping each other.” She learned it takes everyone working together to put on a show. “It’s not about relying on one person, but what everyone does in the background that makes the whole show work.”
As the song says, “We’re all in this together!” Thank you, cast and crew, for sharing your talent and discoveries with us!
In Loving Memory
Friday evening's performance held special meaning for the cast, crew and directors, as it was dedicated to the loving memory of alumnus Garrett Luce '11, who played Troy Bolton in the 2006 premier performance of High School Musical. Members of the 2006 cast attended the show in love and support.
Music Director Liza Brown shared, “The Luces are like family to the Browns, and Garrett was like an older brother to both of my sons. When High School Musical was originally performed, we were all on the front row cheering him on. Honoring Garrett on Friday evening was a sweet reminder of that night and the young man we loved so much.”
Garrett’s mother, Janell Luce said of the gesture, “We were truly touched by the arts department’s decision to remember and honor Garrett in such a loving way. We were so moved that Garrett’s dearest lifelong friends stood on stage regaling the memories and joining us in missing our dear son. Thank you for honoring his memory.”