‘High School Musical’ Coming to a Stage Near You!

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© Mike De Los Santos
Cast members rehearsing for "High School Musical" are (L to R): Delaney Dziwak, Arianne Coutee, Chloe Parker, Nicholas De Los Santos, Blakeley Sjoquist, Matthew Weitmann, Charles Rogers, April Kapocius, Alyssa Herman and Amanda Mendez (bottom row). Not pictured are Emily Baca, Kristen Broughton, Itzel Ccaihuari, Austin Claggett, Savanah Cole, Giselle De La Gente, Sabrina Duongtran Elyssa Dziwak, Steven Guevara, Elizabeth Jenkins, Carrie Kimble, Megan McClellan, Ashley Roten, Anisong Somchid, Maya Villa and Jessica Waite. © Mike De Los Santos
Life is imitating art this month as the Rio Mesa High School Drama Club is staging the hit Disney musical, “High School Musical.”

About 30 RMHS students are staging the production, with the help of a small army of behind-the-scenes volunteers. They are under the direction of Lindann Cheney, who has more than 35 years experience working with children, youth, and adults in plays, choral, dance and musical productions.

“The stage production of ‘High School Musical’ has amazing music and some very fun surprises,” Cheney said. “Don’t miss this opportunity for a bright, energetic, and entertaining evening.”

The show will be staged on April 28th, 29th & 30th at Pacifica High School. The Thursday and Friday shows are at 7 p.m. The Saturday show is an 11 a.m. matinee. Advanced tickets can be purchased at Rio Mesa High School and only cost $5 for students, $10 for adults. Tickets will also be sold at the theater window before each show.

RMHS teacher R.J. Henchy is the show’s Executive Producer. Leslie De Los Santos, a longtime educator and volunteer in local arts productions, is the Parent Volunteer Coordinator/Producer.

And to borrow a phrase from “High School Musical,” the Rio Mesa students, staff members and parents are “all in this together.”

“With the current budgetary constraints, this play is being supported by an entire crew of parents and other volunteers who are working on every aspect of the production, building sets, gathering props, working on publicity, programs, ticket sales – you name it!” said De Los Santos. “We’re all in this together to make the show successful.”

The cast members are (in alphabetical order): Emily Baca, Kristen Broughton, Itzel Ccaihuari, Austin Claggett, Savanah Cole, Arianne Coutee, Giselle De La Gente, Nicholas De Los Santos, Sabrina Duongtran, Delaney Dziwak, Elyssa Dziwak, Steven Guevara, Alyssa Herman, Elizabeth Jenkins, April Kapocius, Carrie Kimble, Megan McClellan, Amanda Mendez, Chloe Parker, Charles Rogers, Ashley Roten, Blakeley Sjoquist, Anisong Somchid, Maya Villa, Jessica Waite, and Matthew Weitmann.

The entire cast and crew feels very fortunate to be under the direction of Cheney, the show’s director. She studied dance and music at Brigham Young University and toured nationally with its performing arts group. Locally, she was the writer, director, choreographer, and costume/set designer for CineMagic, the citywide arts program that just marked its 10th anniversary in Camarillo.

Cheney is currently teaching music at both Channel Islands University Prep School and Los Primeros Arts and Science School. She also teaches a “Show Choir” class and a “Musical Theater” class in the Pleasant Valley Youth Arts Academy after school program.

“Each year, the goal of the Drama Club at Rio Mesa is to put on a quality musical.” said De Los Santos. “We are thrilled to be working with Lindann.”

For her part, Cheney is equally happy. “These performers are smart, talented, and very excited about the show,” she said.

This story is contributed by a member of the Ventura community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with Ventura County Star.

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