High School Musical Arrives In East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/26/07-Athens

High School Musical Arrives In East Texas

It's this generations Grease.  A musical so popular that it has now been seen by more than 200 million people.  We're talking about High School Musical of course, a phenomenon that is now stretching to real high schools, including one right here in East Texas.

It's a television movie kids just can't stop singing about, and a musical portraying high school life that has charmed the nation.  

"It's such a high energy show," said Athens senior Michael Vaughn.  "I mean, it's so modern and contemporary, and it's just like we decided to break out in modern song on stage." 

At Athens High school, more than 40 teenagers have been practicing for five weeks on how to portray teenagers in their fall musical.  It's a show theatre director Maggie Mizell hopes will help build her drama department.

"It seemed like a very good vehicle to be able to tap into maybe some of the kids who don't come out for musicals because the music is very accessible and people know it," said Mizell.

Many of the cast members, like Vaughn who plays Troy Bolton, have acted before. But this musical requires skills not found in other productions.

"We tried to work around the athletes schedules and stuff to incorporate more people into it," said Vaughn.  "We needed people who could play basketball."

"In the musical, they talk about status quo, and the breaking up of cliches where you stay only with your group. So I think this has been a really good cross cliche experience for them because they have gotten to know people they may not have known otherwise," said Mizell. 

LeAnn Giles is seeing that first hand.  An athlete herself and often shy, Giles said she decided to try something new.

"This will be a good thing in my life," said Giles.  "This will teach me to have more confidence, so I won't be so shy." 

With the opening less than 24 hours away, all the frustrations of teaching first timers how to act are behind them.  This cast, made up of real athletes, cheerleaders and brainiacs is ready to shine.

"We have become such a great family together, and I wouldn't trade anybody that we have out there on stage," said Vaughn. 

Athen's production of High School Musical starts Saturday and continues next weekend.  It starts at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.  

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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