Middle school drama club to perform 'High School Musical, Jr.'
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Tue., Nov. 20, 2012
The cast members of the Smith Middle School Drama Club’s production of "High School Musical, Jr." all seem to agree that audiences will enjoy their live-action version of the popular film, and the hope is that the audience will also get the message of individuality over conformity.
Lindsey Boehning, who plays the character Martha Cox, said her character is one of the “brainiacs,” or the nerdy clique in the fictional high school, at which everyone is seemingly part of a group, yet struggles with their own identity.
“They all want to be different, but some kids reach out and say they are someone else, and they want to act like someone else,” she said. “It shows that, and how being different is okay, and you don’t have to be who other people want you to be.”
Luke Lorraine, who plays Zeke Baylor, said his character is a jock, but is also a baker, which is not accepted by his peers. “They just want me to be my basketball self,” he said. “I have to fight through everyone’s opinions and comments and just be myself, go against the flow, and be a rebel.”
Olivia Pizzo said her character was shy and bullied by lead character Sharpay (portrayed by Olivia Thompson), who is a snobby member of the thespian clique, but learns to come out of her shell. “In the end, she stands up to Sharpay and does her own thing,” Pizzo said.
Anthony Diaz, who plays Jack Scott (another brainiac), said that while the stereotype cliques are not as easily defined in real life, the students at Smith do struggle in a similar way as the characters in the play. “I haven’t really seen these cliques in my school, like how the jocks are supposed to play sports and they are usually dumb guys,” Diaz said. “This is kind of exaggerated, but kids do have some trouble with fitting in.”
Diaz added that real-life kids do often try to please their friends and peers instead of creating their own identity, but the message of the show is clearly about accepting oneself. “You shouldn’t really decide to be one thing,” he said. “It really shows that you should just be who you want to be.”
If nothing else, the show is fun, the cast members said. “It’s fun to be in, and it gives a good lesson,” Boehning said. “I’m sure a ton of people have seen the movie, so they will be singing along.”
“It’s popular, so people will know it and like it,” Lorraine said.
“I really like ‘We’re All in This Together,'” said Pizzo, “because the dance is really cool and we really do all get together – we start working together and not caring what other people think.”
"High School Musical, Jr." will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Smith Middle School Auditorium.