High School Musicals/Plays

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the APS Spring Musical

If the first notes of Somewhere Over the Rainbow take you instantly to a little farm in Kansas, you’re not alone. The L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wizard of Oz hit the big screen seventy-five years ago, creating an American staple that ranks consistently among the Top 10 Movies of All Time in the fantasy category.

This spring, Allendale High School is grabbing some of that magic in its own rendition of this timeless musical. With a script nearly identical to that of the big screen (with the exception of one extra song), the students promise that lovers of this timeless story will be equally spellbound by their fresh take on an old performance.

wizard of ozThose playing the lead roles, Allison Taylor as Dorothy, Aubri Carrell as the Cowardly Lion, Jamie Mashue as the Tinman, and Jacob VanNeuren as the Scarecrow (pictured above during dress rehearsal) say they are looking forward to the challenge of singing and dancing later this week.

For Allison, this opportunity represents a full-circle moment. She explains, “I love this story — I was Dorothy four years in a row when I was little and was a munchkin in this same production the last time Allendale performed it. So for me, playing Dorothy and getting to sing these songs is truly a dream come true.” Allison is a sophomore planning to study musical theater this summer at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Aubri noted that all four of the leads are also in Chamber Choir together and enjoy many of the same things. However, all of them agree that the dancing component of this story has been a bit of a hurdle.

“Dancing is something that’s not in any of our backgrounds — we just didn’t know anything about it, so learning to dance while we sing has been a challenge. We’re starting to get the hang of it, though,” said both Jamie and Jacob.

Aubri, a junior playing the Cowardly Lion, bubbled over when discussing her involvement. “I’ve done lots of plays in my life, but this is different — this is having a lead role in a musical! And what makes it more fun is that we’re all really good friends outside of this, so it’s a fun way to make more memories together.”

If you would like to come out and support these young thespians, mark your calendars for one of these performances:

Thursday, March 27 – 7:00 pm

Friday, March 28 – 7:00 pm

Saturday, March 29 – 7:00 pm

 Tickets – $7 Adults  ::  $6 Student  ::  $3 children 5 and under




Categories: Allendale High School, Fine Arts, High School Musicals/Plays | Tags: , | Leave a comment

“Bye Bye Birdie” Opens Thursday Night at the Ceglarek Fine Arts Center

Allendale High School, Bye Bye Birdie, Spring MusicalWhat happens when Conrad Birdie, America’s biggest pop star, is drafted into the army, leaving thousands of fans swooning over his departure? Publicity stunts ensue, romance blossoms, and throngs of adoring groupies are sent into a tailspin while the world waves “Bye Bye Birdie!”

Set in 1957, this Tony Award winning musical includes songs like A Healthy, Normal, American Boy and A Lot of Livin’ to Do, and possesses all the excitement of Broadway.

This year’s cast and crew have been working diligently to overcome days lost to inclement weather that threatened to delay production. Director Cherry Peterson noted that seven rehearsals were lost to snow days and cancellations, so this team of young actors has had to focus with added diligence to master roles and prepare to sing.

“I’m still working to learn all my lines and know when I come in,” says Brock Farber, a senior.  “It’s stressful! In soccer you work hard physically, but this is all mental. I’m having a great time though–I love acting.”

Lead roles this year are filled with students ranging from 10th to 12th grade, and include: Andrea Beitel, Brock Farber, Mackenzie Emmert, Alexander Herringa, Riley Todd, Jacob Van Neuren, and Megan Stevens (pictured below, names descending the stairs and to the left)

APS, Allendale High School, Bye Bye Birdie, Spring Musical 2013

Each of these students was quick to praise the individuals involved with Bye Bye Birdie, but said that it’s the overall theater department that feels like family.

“Theater has been one of my favorite parts of high school. Other students in drama are so accepting — nobody’s weird here. After all, just because this is a drama club doesn’t mean there has to be drama! said Andrea.

Senior Megan Stevens agreed:

“It seems like drama might be one of the only places where all kinds of different people come together. We have athletes, singers, math lovers, and those who have been in drama for years. You become friends with people that you wouldn’t normally meet.”

Riley Todd, a junior, echoed these sentiments, adding:

“Drama is a family. If you ever need someone to talk to, there’s always someone there. People really care; I’ve made so many friends.”

Mackenzie, Jacob, and Alexander all agreed that there are times when the stage feels more like home than anywhere else. They’ve been involved in various productions for years, and are thrilled to have the privilege to perform again this week.

Allendale High School, Spring Musical, Bye Bye Birdie

Cast and crew warming up during practice.

Bye Bye Birdie is a theater classic that will take you back through time to leather jackets, white t-shirts, and great music. On behalf of the the Allendale High School Drama Club, we invite you to join us  this week  for Bye Bye Birdie.

Show times are:

March 21, 22, 23

7 pm

Ceglarek Fine Arts Center

All tickets are general admission

Adults $7

Students $6

5 yrs. and younger $3

Categories: Allendale High School, High School Musicals/Plays | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Beauty and the Beast This Week at AHS

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Beauty and the Beast?

Perhaps it’s little Chip or the magical rose; the lonely, disgruntled beast or the well-known songs you’ve loved for years?

(Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour!)

Whatever comes to mind, I’m confident you’ll be inspired when Allendale’s high school theater program offers their rendition of this beloved musical later this week.

Cherry Peterson, the show’s director, is in her 16th year of coaching our young thespians and is excited to see so many components of theater production coming together. With 31 high school students either on stage or in the orchestra, 2 middle school boys, and 11 elementary girls taking part, there is never a dull moment in the Fine Arts Center!

Practice for Beauty and the Beast began in mid-January and has continued through this week in preparation for three upcoming performances.

Justine Olson as Belle

Justine Olson, cast this spring as Belle, is a senior who dreams of one day acting in Los Angeles. With at least eight plays to her credit, she’ll start down the path toward that dream by moving to Chicago next year to attend either Columbia College Chicago or Roosevelt University. She gushed that her “really supportive parents” are cheering her on, wanting to see her fly.

When asked what makes APS theater so special, Justine didn’t hesitate: “The best part of being involved in theater here is working with amazing directors in an amazing building. It’s also led to some great friendships! It’s special.”

Her co-star, senior Jake Lenkiewicz, has more than 17 productions to his credit and is playing Luminaire in this musical.  Jake will be just one of fifty students attending Compass College for Cinematic Arts in Grand Rapids next year. He, too, has his sights set on Hollywood and aspires to one day return to Allendale to help others pursue their own acting dreams.

Jake Lenkiewicz as Luminaire

“If I make it, I’d like to come back and help as many kids as I can that are living in a small town but have BIG dreams. They deserve to be able to do something! I’d love to build an Allendale Civic Theater so they could have their own space as nice as the Ceglarek FAC. I started in the civic theater and I’d like to give back.”

These are just two of the terrific students helping to make our spring musical really wonderful. I hope you’ll consider coming out to see the magic unfold!


Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

(March 22, 23, 24 )


Click HERE for ticket prices

Categories: Fine Arts, High School Musicals/Plays | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

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