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Students committed to High School Musical, Jr.: Cheney performances February 14-16

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A dedicated cast and crew of nearly 90 Cheney and STEM middle school students will be bringing to life a Disney Channel Original Movie in a way that guarantees an evening’s worth of entertainment for young and old alike.

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Under the direction of Jo Brekke and Sue Morken, the students will be presenting a high energy production of “High School Musical, Jr.” in performances Feb. 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cheney Middle School Theatre, located on the corner of 9th Street and 17th Avenue East.

Everyone has dreams. While some dream of being the star of the basketball team or science decathlon, others hope to be the lead in the school musical. What happens when someone wants to do more than one thing?

In this production, a group of teenagers struggle to discover their true identities while building relationships, exploring new interests, and dealing with others’ expectations of them. Audiences will be treated to the stellar singing, dancing and acting talents of actors and actresses including Tyrel Finlinson (Troy Bolton), Hannah France (Gabriella Montez), Mauli Sand (Sharpay), and Ben Kensok (Ryan).

Morken and Brekke said that “High School Musical, Jr.” was chosen for the winter production because it is a fun, contemporary piece. “We’ve directed fairy tales, adventures, and period pieces in the past and we wanted to try something different.”

As always, the students were totally committed rehearsing approximately two hours a day, five days a week since since the end of November.

Both directors agree that this is by far the most challenging musical they have been involved with. “We looked at it a few years ago, but felt the timing wasn’t right. Our cast is simply amazing! They have risen to a higher level of performance, including singing, dancing, and acting and we couldn’t be more proud of their efforts. It’s quite amazing to experience the show as it developed from a script to a live performance. The students took ownership of “their” show and brought their characters to life. They also came up with creative solutions to problems and cheered each other on.We have enjoyed the relationships that have developed throughout the process with the cast and crew really becoming a family and developing lifelong friendships.”

Morken and Brekke say they would also like to thank everyone else involved with making the production a success. “The Middle School musical is made possible by the support of our administrators and the parents. We have been over-whelmed by the willingness of parents to show up for set-building days - their tireless work is an inspiration to us and the students. Parents have also re-arranged their daily schedules to pick up children after rehearsals, provide costumes, help with make-up, and organize a reception on the evening of the final show.”

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to take in the performance.

Tickets are $5 per person, and can be purchased at the door, or at the CMS office during school hours.

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