By Julia Page Smith, Contributing Writer
You can hear the audible buzz all around campus; the Vindicated class is putting on High School Musical. This culturally iconic show provides nostalgia for many millennials.
“I remember when I was in fourth or fifth grade, every time my best friend and I would hang out we would go to her basement full of dress up clothes. We would put on her dress-up clothes, and sing along to High School Musical, making up scenes as Ryan and Sharpay,” said Lauren Edgell, who stars as Gabriella in the show.
Cast member Kelli Rehmel said, “I can remember having marathons of all the movies with my friends, learning the dance moves to the songs.” Madison Farrar, their director fondly recalled, “High School Musical was a staple of my childhood. I grew up singing the songs. I performed to some of the songs at dance recitals and things.”
Aside from all these warm fuzzy feelings outside production, the Vindicated class musical didn’t start all that smoothly. To begin, the production’s previous director bowed out due to various complications in November. Suddenly, the Vindicated class cabinet was at a total loss for a solution. As sophomore class president, Farrar didn’t want her class to be the one that didn’t have a musical, so she suggested High School Musical. “Within 48 hours of our previous director stepping down, we chose High School Musical and created a leadership change,” said Farrar.
Farrar assumed the role of director, and the weight of the production was on her shoulders. “It was terrifying. It was all the questions that I didn’t have all the answers to,” she said. First, the show was set to take place in Miller, but as that plan fell through the cast made a quick set change.
“Thankfully we got into Hughes. That’s been another struggle as we have had to make other arrangements for sound and lights,” said Farrarr. “Our set has to be unorthodox because it’s not in the theater.”
Involvement was also another concern for Farrar. “Participation for the Vindicated class has always been a problem… That was one of my biggest fears doing the show. But, we have a group of 60 involved in the show, including cast and crew.”
Farrar expressed that through long hours of rehearsal, the production has ultimately been a team effort. She stated, “A show can’t be put on by one person. It takes a whole community to make it happen. Seeing every single person come in with their unique individual talents is the most rewarding thing.”
Throughout the process, cast members Lauren Edgell, who plays Gabriella, and Carolyne Clements, who plays Sharpay, not only contributed to their roles in the show, but also as cast vocal directors.
Cast member Sara Trapp said, “the people leading it like Lauren and Carolyne, Grace, Madison and Adam have been really patient and are always willing to help us out when we are struggling.” Edgell agreed. She also mentioned the rewarding process throughout, explaining that “you build relationships with people you don’t know. You get to the end, and it’s a gift to the people who are seeing it and for you.”
The musical has shows both Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., as well as on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Tickets are free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting one hour before the show.