Ellison High School Theater is embracing a favorite Disney teen movie, “Camp Rock,” this week with song, dance and story sure to entertain.
“Camp Rock, The Musical” is scheduled Thursday, Nov. 3; Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $8 for students and Ellison staff and $10 for adults.
Camp Rock tells a story of a pair of rival summer camps and the developing intrigues among the campers.
The show highlights are a talented group of singers and dancers, brought to life by two student choreographers.
Brianni Gaines and Saarah McLean have roles in the musical and also worked with director Hayley Hersey on choreographing the numerous dance numbers.
Gaines, an EHS junior, plays the role of camp diva Tess, who defects from Camp Rock to rival Camp Star.
“I love to give the attitude,” she said of playing the lead role. “She’s all extra with the reactions that she gives and that’s a fun character to play.”
As a lead character and one of two student choreographers, Gaines juggled a lot of responsibility and enjoyed helping her peers learn the dance moves.
The singing, dancing and all the teenage attitude make the show enjoyable, she said.
“It’s a simple story driven by competition between the camps,” she said. “It’s entertaining watching teenagers be so rude to each other.”
The best part of the show, she said, is a big dance scene to a song called “It’s On,” where the rival camps have a dance off.
“We’re very excited to be putting it all together. It’s getting amped.”
Ellison senior Lilyanna Gonzalez is accustomed to performance and the pressure of competition as a two-time All-State Choir member. She decided to jump into the theater production for a new experience in her senior year.
“It’s been wonderful,” she said. “I’m grateful for our choreographers because I can’t dance. I didn’t expect to get a lead role. I love our cast and crew. It feels like a summer camp sometimes.”
Gonzalez spends a lot of time during Camp Rock on centerstage, using her considerable vocal talent alongside her newfound dance skills.
She is often paired with fellow choir senior Michael Breaux, who sings alongside Gonzalez as her camp love interest.
Gonzalez plays Mitchie, a pushy teen trying to motivate her peers to action to help save Camp Rock from its rival.
“She’s very bossy, which is hard for me,” she said. “A lot of these people are my friends so it’s funny having to be mean to them.”
She said audiences will enjoy the dance numbers that fill the stage and keep the story moving.
“I loved it even more than I thought I would,” she said of her first theater experience. “I’m grateful to have had this experience.”
Ellison junior Saarah McLean, also doing double duty as a choreographer and actor said she has enjoyed making new friends while working on the fall musical.
“We are a big family and we have learned to act beyond the script, beyond ourselves,” she said. “I enjoy seeing all the parts come together. I like seeing everyone adapt and make it their own.”
She said her character, Sander, is an encourager who acts like a big kid at camp.
Playing the part of Shane Grey opposite Mitchie, senior choir student Michael Breaux said audiences will get to live the fun that the actors bring to the stage.
“It’s a fun musical,” he said. “I like the overall fun vibe. Shane is charismatic and cares about his friends. There is lots of singing and dancing. It’s fun and nerve-racking. It fuels me.”