By Betsy Reason
For the past 14 weeks, Noblesville High School theater students have been rehearsing for last weekend’s production of Disney’s “High School Musical.”
Patrons who attended any of the four performances were likely amazed at the singing and dancing of our young people.
Those students have been rehearsing every day after school Monday through Friday and even some Saturdays. When rehearsals were finally over and the show opened on Friday night, I could feel the energy on stage.
Cast and crew members have spent so many hours together and have had so much fun making the production.
After every performance this past weekend, there was a cast and crew party. On Thursday, it was at Steak ‘N’ Shake, Friday at Applebee’s, Saturday at Culver’s. Then on Sunday night, the cast and crew gathered at a crew member’s house.
The weekend went in a flash. There was so much time and effort put into the show and such excitement during the show’s run. And then it’s all over. After putting months into making the show, it’s all over.
No more theater rehearsals every day after school. It’s back to riding home on the school bus, which my daughter hasn’t done in more than three months. “They probably don’t have a seat for me,” she said Sunday night. Riding the school bus is not her favorite.
Yes, she wishes that all of the fun of the musical didn’t have to end. She would be happy performing in the ensemble in the show every weekend for the next 52 weeks if she could. I’m sure many of the others in the cast feel the same way. I even feel it as a mom because we watched every public performance of the musical. I, too, felt their post-show blues.
Maybe I’m biased, but the musical was really good, good enough to take on the road to anywhere, USA. Choir director John Neubauer and choreographer 1991 NHS grad Shantel Morris should be so proud. And the orchestra’s director David Hartman, director of the Pit Players in the pit, well, they were nothing short of amazing.
Part of the letdown during the post-show blues is not being together anymore as a student cast and crew. Those kids have gotten to know each other so well over the past 14 weeks. They live off of each other’s energy. They get attached to each other. Now, they are no longer together. And feel like they have no life. While they have more time for sleep, they’re looking for the next adventure.
This weekend, senior cast and crew members were a little teary-eyed that it was their last NHS musical. Tears were shed, by students as well as their parents and grandparents, who are so very proud of them.
North Elementary music teacher Janine Krent was among the moms in tears, watching proudly as her son, senior Aaron Krent, performed as Ryan Evans, opposite Sharpay Evans, played by senior Lauren Rohn, in their last high school musical. Janine Krent had put a parent “shout-out” in the playbill, using a photo of her elementary school-age Aaron, wearing a fedora in his first theatrical performance. He was a little embarrassed, but Mom was really proud. This probably won’t be his last musical for this mom to watch, as Aaron plans to minor in theater in college.
About seven miles south, at Fishers High School, “Mamma Mia!” was on stage over the weekend as well. And parents were also feeling the knot in their throats trying to hold back the tears of their seniors whose final performance of the musical was Sunday. Janice Booher, whose daughter, Kylee Booher, played Tanya, one of the lead roles, said to me during the show she was a “bit of a wreck, trying to just not cry.”
She was so proud, but “incredibly sad” for “another last.” Senior years are filled with lots of lasts. Like homecoming dance and choir and musical performances, during that last year in high school. Because time flies.
Sunday night, after watching “Mamma Mia!” and attending the“High School Musical” cast and crew party, my daughter, who is a sophomore and was in “High School Musical,” was a little sad herself. She said, “I feel like it hasn’t really set in that it’s over.”
But NHS students are already talking about what musical might be on the schedule for fall 2022. There are already rumors. Hopefully, the fall musical will be as popular and fun of a show as “High School Musical,” with a lot of roles, a familiar show title and songs that students as well as the community are familiar with and can sing along, so that the show will draw a full house like this one did. Just ask my daughter, who has been in 16 theatrical productions, mostly musicals, what shows she would like to do in her junior and senior years. And I bet she’ll pick a couple of good ones.
-Contact Betsy Reason@thetimes24-7.com.