Towson High Productions Presents: High School Musical

Ciara Donegan

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The last half of this school year will be filled with many references to Disney; not only will the music department travel to Disney World over spring break, but the theatre department will also be putting on High School Musical! Unfortunately, due to conflicting rehearsal times and the Disney trip, there will be no pit orchestra, but this spring’s musical is already showing that it will be extraordinary anyway.

The casting for the musical is reminiscent of the casting within the plot of the musical itself. Many promising newcomers were cast in large roles, just like Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez were in the movie. In fact, the two main characters themselves were given to two seniors in their first Towson roles: Nick Healy as Troy, and Taylor Weng as Gabriella. Two of the other big roles, Sharpay Evans and Kelsi Neilson, were filled by two sophomores, Grace Kelly and Julia Batavick, who have each never participated in a Towson musical.

The cast list was posted at the end of the day on December 23rd, right before winter break began, so many of the actors got their roles as an early Christmas present (or late Hanukkah present). Senior Eric Panuela, who was cast as Ryan Evans, was thrilled when he saw the cast list. “I actually couldn’t believe it,” he recalled. “I tried sending a picture of the list to show my friends, but I was shaking so much I couldn’t get it right!”

Many of the actors also have a personal connection to this musical. The movie was released in 2005, so many high school students today grew up watching it. Julia Batavick was one of the actors who was especially excited to perform High School Musical. “It was my favorite movie when I was little, and now I get to actually perform it,” she exclaimed. “It’s really going to be an amazing experience!”

For the stage and tech crew, High School Musical will definitely be very different from the winter play, It’s A Wonderful Life. Gray Sheridan, a sophomore who is one of the art directors alongside senior Ally Sheedy, said, “The musical will definitely be way more colorful than It’s A Wonderful Life, which was almost completely in black and white. It might take a bit of effort for the paint crew to get back in the hang of painting in color, but it will definitely be fun for people who worked on other past productions to be using color again.” On the other hand, the costumes crew will be have a much easier time, as sophomore Emma Bailey explains. “All of the plays in the past two years have taken place sometime in the past, so we had to find special costumes that fit the time period. Now, for the most part, we can just use normal clothes that high schoolers wear!”

It may be difficult for the students involved in the musical to live up to the expectations left by last year’s amazing performance of Hairspray, but with the amazing cast and crew and all of the rehearsals before opening night in April, they will almost certainly be able to do it!

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Towson High Productions Presents: High School Musical