By Brandon Dumsky

Disney is invading the Fort Osage stage.

The Fort Osage High School theater program is performing Disney's "High School Musical" beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday and running through Saturday at the school.

"This musical is a great example of how every person should be true to themselves and to accept other's differences," said Fort Osage theater instructor Geneieve Hutter.

Loosely based on William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," the story involves two rivals, jock Troy and nerdy Gabriella, from different high school cliques trying out for their school play which consequently creates a giant rift with their entire high school. The rivals meanwhile persevere despite of all the criticism they receive.

"It is this variety that makes us a stronger community," added Hutter.

The movie's immense popularity and appeal from students were some of the reasons on why the school chose the musical this year. "We wanted to do a show that would sell tickets and draw students into auditions," said Hutter.

Fort Osage students will be offering its own, unique twist by performing original choreography created by both the director and students.

"We have developed and performed our own dancing that will be a new experience to the audience," said Hutter. "Plus there are some stage and lighting effects that will enhance the action throughout the show."

According to Hutter, the production will feature of all the original songs from the first movie. "This production is entirely based on the first 'High School Musical,' " she said.

Both the cast and crew have been busily perfecting their show since late August. A common challenge among many student performers was portraying a character that is completely opposite of them in real life.

Junior Jordan Byers who plays Gabriella Montez said “she (Gabriella) is a very different than me personality wise. Gabriella is a shy and reserved girl, which is why I enjoyed developing her character.”

Carter Behler plays Ryan Evans in the musical and said "it’s my most challenging role ever."

"Ryan is a quiet, well-dressed, preppy and that's the opposite of me," Behler continued.

The energetic and fun-filled show welcomes people of all ages and begins at 7 p.m. at the Fort Osage High School performing arts center. Tickets price are $8 for adults, $5 for students, and ages 5 and under are free.



Troy Bolton - Nehemiah Deason Chad Danforth - Kai Chapin Zeke Baylor - Sam Gouldsmith Jason - Herman Tapusoa Sharpay Evans - Halle Robaina Ryan Evans - Carter Behler Jane - Elisabeth Gorski Susan - Alexis McGowan Cathy - LeeAnna King Allie - Abby Cox Cyndra - Erin Allen PAK 1 - Sydney Martin PAK 2 - Hailey Richmond PAK 3 - Kayla Gross Gabriella Montez - Jojo Byers Taylor McKessie - Halsey Sheley Martha Cox - Allie Culver Kratnoff - Noelle Postlethwait Ripper - Destiny Lewis Mongo - Gunnar Robaina Jack Scott - Chase Matlock Kelsi Neilson - Claire Benedict Ms. Darbus - Elisabeth Hupp Coach Bolton - Sam Culver Ms. Tenny - Elizabeth Gorski Moderator - LeeAnna King Mascot - Jo Carter

Cheerleaders - Lacy Goettling, Amy King, Jessica Perry, Julie Perry, Bekka Ramirez, Megan Resch, Hannah Rice, Breck Wiley Jocks - Clarence Copridge, Drake Ford, Herman Tapusoa, Celzo Wannamaker Brainiacs -Bre Eison, Marissa Mallon, Mariah Mulinazzi Skaters -Sonia Faitau, Kenidy Flowers, Seta Pau