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SCC High School presents Disney’s High School Musical

St. Croix Central High School students Mitchell Donahue (front left) and Kayla Boyd (front right), who play Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez respectively, sing along with the rest of the <I>Disney’s High School Musical <I>cast during a musical rehearsal Thursday, Oct. 10, in the high school commons area. (Photo by Jordan Willi)1 / 2
Co-director Roxi Wakeen (left) talks with the cast of this year’s musical, <I>Disney’s High School Musical<I>, during a rehearsal Thursday, Oct. 10, at the high school. (Photo by Jordan Willi)2 / 2

On most days, it is rare to see students at St. Croix Central High School spontaneously break into song in the middle of the hallways or cafeteria.

However, that will not be the case come Oct. 26, 27, and 28, when the high school brings <I>Disney’s High School Musical<I> to life on the small stage of the commons area in the commons area for this year’s musical.

“It has been fun to do this musical because the kids energy has been really high,” co-director Roxi Wakeen said. “The other thing is that I liked High School Musical as a show simply because it is kids being kids. And the message of the movie is clear: If we don’t work together we’ll never get it done. You don’t have to be a mold, you can break out of that and be something else. It is a message I want all the kids to have.”

Most students grew up with <I>High School Musical<I>, so when it was the musical was announced back in May, the students were more than excited to get the chance to live out one of their favorite movies from their childhood.

“I got really excited when I heard that we were doing <I>High School Musical<I> because it was one of those shows that I really wanted to do, so it was really nice to have an opportunity to do it,” said Kayla Boyd, who plays female lead Gabriella Montez. “I’ve been trying to focus on figuring out what [Gabriella] feels and not so much what I would feel in those situations.”

Boyd is one of the many SCC students returning from last year’s cast, but the musical will also feature newcomers like Justin Albright, who plays Troy Bolton’s (played by Mitchell Donahue) best friend, Chad Danforth.

“I’ve seen all the movies before and I feel like it is a good show,” Albright said. “I wasn’t really planning on joining in until I watch <I>Breaking Bad<I> on TV and thought ‘Hey, they make acting look really fun.’ So I figured I might as well start out acting with something I was familiar with.”

Casting for the show began on the first day of school, with only students who wanted to have leading roles or a singing part needing to audition for Wakeen and co-director Sharon Freitag.

“Our casting was very strong this year, with two freshmen getting leads,” said Wakeen, who is directing her second musical with SCC students and her 45th overall. “We also have a lot of new kids mixing in as well and that is a good thing.”

Without a background in music or theater and spending most of his time in the weight room training for wrestling, Albright was unsure of what his audition would be like or whether he would get a big part or a small one.

“I honestly didn’t know what to expect coming into auditions because this is my first play ever,” Albright said. “I came in feeling a little nervous because I had never been around people in drama or the play, so I didn’t know what to expect. But as we got flowing and as we started laughing I really started to enjoy doing it.”

Joining the students in this year’s show will be Activities Director/Dean of Students Jeremy Kerg, who will play Coach Bolton, and High School Principal Dr. Glenn Webb, who will play East High’s principal.

Rehearsals for the musical have been going on since the first weeks of school and by opening night, the cast will have had 21 rehearsals together.

“We usually meet here (at the high school) and practice really hard for a couple of hours until around 9 p.m.,” Boyd said. “Then we go home, practice there and come back and do it all over again. I am starting to feel the crunch time with opening night closing in. But I’m really, really excited for it too.”

To reserve tickets, go to the high school website ( or call Nicholas Haug at 715-796-5383 ext. 1114. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for students and $3 for children under 10.

“Whenever you can engage students as a director it is wonderful,” Wakeen said. “We also have great leadership with all the kids coming back from last year’s show and they are encouraging the new kids to do greater things. So, it is fun.”

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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