Harvey County area high schools are gearing up to put on their fall musicals and plays, with students participating in weeks of rehearsals leading up to opening night.
At Newton High School, "Godspell" will be performed at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10. A matinee performance will also be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 11. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students.
Theater teacher Jessica Heidrick said she intentionally chose the show because of its smaller cast size.
"I wanted to build some really positive relationships, and that's easier to do with a smaller show," Heidrick said. "You get a close-knit community."
"Godspell" cast member Rai Angolo said getting to know people is one of his favorite things about being involved in theater and that experience has been intensified in this show.
"It's a very different experience than doing a large-cast musical because you all have such a close bond," Angolo said. "You get to know each of the cast members personally."
"Godspell" is a modern-day retelling of events in the life of Jesus and the parables he told. The set is being constructed to look like a trash-strewn underpass and the characters are representative of those who are marginalized today.
"They play people who are on the outskirts of society," Heidrick said.
"Every character, hopefully, relates to someone in the crowd," said Michael Smith, who plays Jesus. "...People can find themselves in the characters. It's awesome. People are going to be amazed."
Both Angolo and Smith said they relished taking on the challenge of portraying Biblical characters.
"It's a blast. It's the role I've been wanting for, like, a long time," Smith said. "(Jesus) is a complicated character."
Angolo plays the dual role of John the Baptist and Judas in "Godspell."
"You have to figure out how to start out baptizing everybody and being super excited that Jesus is here to the crucifixion and making it make sense," Angolo said. "...If you don't do it right, it seems like the crucifixion is out of nowhere."
Each cast member of "Godspell" not only sings, dances and uses creativity in movement and props to tell the story — they also play an instrument.
"There's a lot of talent on the stage," Smith said. "...I'm really confident in this show. Every one of these cast members can sing their tails off."
Even during intermission, the majority of the 10-person cast will remain on stage.
"We're constantly on stage and there are no blackouts — it's just straight through. It's awesome," Smith said.
"Godspell" features songs that range from pop to rock and roll.
"Everyone has high energy and we have a lot of fun, but when we need to be serious, we turn it on with the snap of a finger," Smith said.
"It's really good. I'm really happy with it," Heidrick said. "They're having so much fun that it's just going to be a really good show."
Berean Academy's senior class will perform "Winnie the Pooh" at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students.
Frederic Remington High School will perform "The Boy Friend," a musical set in the 1920s, at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10 and 3 p.m. Nov. 11.
Goessel High School will perform Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10 . This timeless classic that pleases adults and children alike features moments of romance and adventure, dazzling chorus numbers and costuming that awakens the imagination. Principal cast members are Bea Gaeddert as Belle; Chris Strecker as the Beast; Kale Funk as Gaston; David Sawyer as Lefou; Kendall Hiebert as Maurice; Edel Miller as Lumiere; Eddie Gaeddert as Cogsworth; Julianna Schrag as Mrs. Potts; Kaleigh Guhr as Chip; Elyse Boden as Babette; Liz Alderfer as Madame de la Grande Bouche; and Dominic Engelstad as Monsieur D'Arque. The 70-member Goessel High School Choir will act as townspeople and enchanted castle objects. The production is directed by Braden Unruh and accompanied by Marcia Brubaker and Alyssa Burkholder. Audio/visual technicians are Ryan Goertzen-Regier and Heath Goertzen.
Tickets for "Beauty and the Beast" are $5 for all ages and will be available at the door each night of the show.
The Goessel High junior class parents invite everyone to a Mexican meal prior to the show at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in the high school commons. The suggested donation of $6 per person will benefit the 2019 After Prom Party.
Halstead High School students will perform "Singin' in the Rain" at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10, Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children.
Hesston High School will present "The Wizard of Oz" at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 and 10. Tickets are $6.
Moundridge High School will perform "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10. Tickets are $5.
Peabody-Burns High School will present "Cindy," a modern take on the Cinderella fairytale, at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 and 3 p.m. Nov. 11. Tickets are $5 for adults or $4 for children and seniors. Children age 4 or under are free.
Sedgwick High School's musical, "Shrek," will be performed at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10 (alternate dates based on football game results are Nov. 8 and 10). Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for students.
Details of the Burrton High School production were not available by press time.