By Sang Ho Lee and Yeena Yoon
Attentive to the slightest tilt of the head, cast members of this year’s drama production, “High School Musical,” rehearse their dance routine for the final song, “We’re All In This Together.” The cast has been practicing every Tuesday and Thursday after school to prepare for performances in front of the elementary school on Nov. 20 and the whole school on Nov. 20 and 21.
“High School Musical” is a musical based on the first movie of the trilogy that originally aired on Disney Channel in 2006. The plot unfolds with a modern, teenage twist on Shakespeare’s renowned play, “Romeo and Juliet,” depicting the complicated relationship between two juniors, Troy Bolton, played by Sean Lee (8), and Gabriella Montez, played by Yujin Choi (11). The story chronicles Troy, the basketball team captain, and Gabriella, the scholastic decathlon winner, as they attempt to break the status quo and audition for the lead roles in their high school musical.
“[It helps] that I completely understand Gabriella’s perspective,” Yujin said. “My dad is an architect so when I was three, we moved to New York from Korea. Then a year later I moved to California, and then to New Jersey. Now I’m here. Gabriella basically just transferred to this new school, and is completely lost. I’ve gone through the same process of moving around several times, so I can definitely identify with her.”
Another change in the drama production is Heejae Jo (12)’s participation in various aspects of the production. Heejae will be responsible for not only playing Sharpay Evans, the school’s drama queen, but also choreographing and co-directing the musical with Simon Williams, drama director.
“When the students come together and practice the dance routine, you can tell who is really into it, and who really wants to be there,” Heejae said. “We’ve only had two or three practices, but it’s a really different feeling when you see those cast members dancing to your dance moves and your directions.”
Students, such as Angela Jang (11), have high expectations for the production because of the original movie’s popularity and the jazz band’s scheduled live performance.
“I would personally like to sell out this year,” Mr. Williams said. “I’d like to have a full-house where we have no more seats available. I’d also like for other schools to come see our production, like how SIS students go to watch SFS plays. If this means having to perform [more than three times], that’s even better.”