AJ Hernandez, YouPOP director, has worked with many of the same young actors for the past four years. For this summer’s production, Hernandez picked a hit that he hopes will be relatable for his young cast – Disney’s “High School Musical.”
Performances will be held at the Janey Slaughter Briscoe Grand Opera House Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, July 2, at 2 p.m.
The production features star athlete Troy Bolton, academic Gabriella Montez, and the other students of East High as they deal with issues of love, friends and family while balancing their classes and extracurricular activities.
The play starts the first day after winter break at East High. The jocks, brainiacs, thespians and skaters find their cliques. Basketball team captain and resident jock Troy discovers that the brainy Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. The couple causes an upheaval when they decide to audition for the high school musical. Although many students resent the threat posed to the “status quo,” Troy and Gabriella’s alliance opens the door for others to shine as well.
Cast members include Caleb Packer as Troy Bolton; Alyssa Hernandez as Gabriella Montez; Krislyn Wimberley as Sharpay Evans; Aaron Whitehead as Ryan Evans; Noah Downing as Chad Danforth; George Alamia as Zeke Nielsen; Brenlie Villalobos as Taylor McKessie; Anna Packer as Jenny Scott; Linda Ramon as Ms. Darbus; BJ Perez as Coach Bolton; Maebry Kraatz as ensemble/nerd; Jessica McLerran as ensemble/Martha Cox; Bella Lanier as ensemble/ cheerleader/and Ms. Tenny; Arianna Gonzales as ensemble/skater; Analysa Gonzales as ensemble/cheerleader; Ella Packer as ensemble/theatre; Caitlin Wimberley as ensemble/ theatre/cheerleader; Oliver Downing as ensemble/nerd; and Fiona White as ensemble/theatre/ cheerleader.