Gainesville High School Drama and Tech Club were ‘all in this together’ for their production of “High School Musical in the school's auditorium. Located at 1900 NW 13th St., the performance was directed and sponsored by theater and drama teacher, Frank Considine.
As the high school and county contracted the show before Considine’s employment, he described the timing of this production as impeccable.
“'’High School Musical’ always draws a crowd,” Considine said. “Especially after the year we had, it’s nice to see a show where everyone can identify with the story.”
The drama club performed one performance on Oct. 29 at 7 pm and Nov. 7 at 2 pm and twice on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 at 12 pm and 4 pm.
“High School Musical Jr.” is licensed from MTI, Music Theatre International, and is a smaller version of the original production. Considine said a junior show has minor modifications like cutting out musical numbers and scenes while making two roles into one.
Considine created two casted leads; Cast A with upper-level students and Cast B with lower-level students. He said this gives students a better opportunity to play the lead.
“People say it’s too much work, but if you were a teenager and had to learn all of these dance numbers and scenes and could only do so for a bit, it is disappointing,” Considine said. “This strengthens the program and gives people more experience.”
Considine teaches the drama club to perform a show from the perspective of an audience member.
“If someone forgets a line, it’s something people who work behind the scenes will notice,” Considine said. “It’s how you react that will affect the audience’s perception.”
Considine couldn’t find a date when auditions took place, but he said all who tried out were given a part. Around 100 people, primarily students, worked on the show. Considine couldn’t reveal any COVID regulations or funding of the production.
Unlike teenagers in the play, Gainesville High School student activities director and girls' varsity golf coach, Michelle Milinkovic, played the role of Ms. Darbus. Milinkovic got involved when she heard about the show and approached Considine to audition. She auditioned with the song “Colors of the Wind” from the “Pocahontas” soundtrack with the students.
“It was always a dream of mine to be on stage in a performance,” Milinkovic said. “This was a great role in starting in since I became familiar for not only watching the movie several times but have watched my son perform as Troy Bolton.”
Milinkovic prepared the role by working on her lines in the evenings with her son, who played Troy Bolton at Gainesville High School summer theatre program and Star Theatre. Her biggest challenge was finding the time with her role at the school while attending rehearsal.
“The feeling of bringing joy to others through entertainment and the ability to be literally in the spotlight and a part of something big like a stage play was beyond exciting, and I absolutely loved being a part of it all!” Milinkovic said.
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Elliot Tritto is the host and producer of the Independent Alligator. He is a junior studying broadcast journalism at UF. Before joining the Alligator, Tritto had experience from the newsroom at the Broward College's Observer and as a podcast host of the Basic Nerd Experience.