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Quincy High School drama club to present ‘High School Musical’

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | March 3, 2022 1:00 AM

QUINCY — The story of a star-crossed romance and its effect on East High School comes to the Quincy High School stage for two weekends starting Friday.

The curtain rises on the QHS Drama Club production of “High School Musical” at 7:30 p.m. March 4 and 11, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 5 and 12 at the QHS Performing Arts Center, 403 Jackrabbit St. NE.

“High School Musical” is based on a series of popular movies, and tells the story of Gabriella Montez (Xitlaly Trejo in the QHS production) and Troy Bolton (Manny Diaz), the boy she met over winter vacation.

“These two teenagers who find each other on New Year’s, and they think they’ll never see each other,” Diaz said. “They fall in love, and they go on thinking they’ll never see each other, and they end up going to the same school.”

But there are obstacles. Gabriela and her friends are the brainy clique, and Troy and his friends are athletes, the school jocks. And Troy’s dad Coach Bolton (Tucker Ronish) really, really wants a state basketball championship.

But a much bigger problem is that Troy has caught the eye of Sharpay Evans (Emma Foley), queen of the drama department. Sharpay doesn’t like romantic competition, from Gabriela or anybody else.

“High School Musical” is the first play ever for Diaz. He’s a senior and at the last minute decided to try out for the play along with a friend, Johanaly Torres.

“We said we would audition, for fun, and here I am,” he said.

“We kind of just did it as a joke,” Torres said.

Diaz didn’t expect to get the lead.

“My top choice was to play a jock, like a supporting role,” he said.

It’s also the first time in the lead for Trejo, a senior who was cast in the drama club’s 2020 production of “Working.” But the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the production about a week before it opened.

Senior Tucker Ronish was also in “Working,” or would have been if the play had gone on as scheduled.

“It was gone. We put in all this work, and it just got taken away from us,” Ronish said.

“It was a bummer, practicing so much and not being able to show the world. That was kind of why I auditioned again, because I really wanted to get the whole experience,” Trejo said.

She didn’t expect to get the lead either, she said. She auditioned for the role that eventually went to Torres.

Diaz said the onstage experience has been pretty much like he expected. Where the surprise has come is offstage.

“I guess what I didn’t really expect was all the friendships I’ve made. I didn’t expect everything else that would come out of it,” Diaz said.

Trejo’s previous experience was in the ensemble, and it’s different being in the lead.

“There are a lot more things thrown at you. It feels different,” she said.

She too has made a lot of new friends.

“It’s really cool, seeing so many other people that like the same thing you do,” she said.

Torres, a freshman, worked on the tech crew for the QHS production of “A Christmas Carol” last fall. And while she and Diaz decided to try out, Torres said, they didn’t have a lot of expectations.

“We didn’t know how to sing or dance or act. We didn’t think we had anything in us to be able to do so,” she said.

Sophomore Brooke Milburn is in her second play, and said she hesitated before auditioning after not auditioning for “A Christmas Carol.”

“I was kind of nervous to come back, because it had been a while since I had done it,” she said. “But I’m really glad that I came back. It’s really fun. And it’s just a good experience to meet new people and get involved, too.”

Some of the music is challenging, some of it isn’t, Milburn and Torres said, but dancing adds a whole new dimension. There’s a big difference between singing during rehearsals and combining dancing and singing on stage, Torres said.

“You’re so focused on the dancing or your lines, you just forget the music. It can be challenging,” Torres said.

“Once you get it, it’s really rewarding. It’s really fun,” Milburn said.

Ronish is a drama club veteran.

“I think it’s just fun to be in plays,” he said. “I’ve been part of every play since freshman year.”

“High School Musical” is Ronish’s first musical, and it’s been fun.

“A lot of long nights that haven’t always been fun, but overall it has,” he said. “Hanging out with friends all the time, it’s just fun. And especially when you put on the production, it feels like your hard work has paid off.”

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and can be purchased at the QHS office during school hours, or online at https://wa-quincy.intouchreceipting.com.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

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0304 Quincy HS play feature 2: Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Gabriella (Xitlaly Trejo, left) makes a new friend in Taylor (Brooke Melburn, right) on her first day at East High in the Quincy High School production of “High School Musical.” Photos for this story were taken during a rehearsal for the play.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Sharpay (Emma Foley, left) and Ryan (Dawson Rubio, right) are not happy with what they see happening at East High as Sharpay’s crush falls for another girl.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Students get back to school at East High in the Quincy High School production of “High School Musical.”

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Sharpay (Emma Foley, front) isn’t impressed with East High’s brainiacs (Karen Quintero, center and Paola Palacios, back). The Quincy High School production is put on by the school’s drama club.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Gabriella (Xitlaly Trejo, left) and Troy (Manny Diaz, right) get to know each other better in Quincy High School’s production of “High School Musical.” The play features two high school students from different cliques connecting.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Ryan (Dawson Rubio, left) gives up his phone to Ms. Darbus (Emma Galloway, right). The Quincy High School Drama Club has been rehearsing regularly to make the show a success.

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