ArtsMar 12, 2020

Three cheers for Bring It On!

The cast and crew of the winter musical, Bring It On, deserve three cheers for three high-energy, fast-paced, and sold out shows this past weekend.

The production was fun and ambitious and featured cheer routines that were boldly physical. After each show, Theater Ensemble members also held talk-back sessions with the audience, sharing their insights into the production and fielding questions about the show, which brought up a number of issues we are facing in our country today, including themes of inclusion and cultural competency.

Bring It On tells the story of Campbell, a high school senior and cheerleading captain who expects to have her best year ever on the squad. As the school year is about to begin, however, she is redistricted to a school that doesn’t have a cheerleading team. There, she struggles to fit in but ultimately befriends members of the school’s dynamite dance crew, joining forces with the group’s leader, Danielle, to form a squad that hopes to compete for the ultimate prize — the National Cheerleading Championship.

The show starred Emily Carmel ’20 as Campbell, Erica Morales-Armstrong ’20 as Danielle, Kate Nguyen ’20 as Campbell’s best friend, Bridget, and Isabella Bretthauer ’22 and Evelyn Stewart ’20 as Nautica and La Cienega, member’s of Danielle’s dance crew.

The cast also featured Riagain Wiley ’20 as Campbell’s boyfriend, Steven, and, as members of Campbell’s cheerleading squad at her old school, Hannah Tran ’22 as Skylar, Chelsie Li ’21 as Kylar, and Keely O’Gorman ’22 as Eva. Also performing were Sammy Rusk ’21 as Randall, who catches Campbell’s eye, Emma Adelson ’22 as Twig, who is interested in Bridget, and Cailyn Tetteh ’22, as Cameron, Danielle’s boyfriend.

The Ensemble of Truman High School and Jackson High School students, featured Alessandra Alicea ’21, Ella Biancolo ’20, Symaira Elliott ’22, Nancy Gao ’20, Natasha Hagan ’21, Kenja Harley ’23, Anna Ho ’22, Truc Hoang ’22, Olivia Kick-Nalepa ’22, Emma Kotelnicki ’20, Emily Lombardi ’22, Olivia McKeon ’23, Nya Mielke ’21, Fernanda Morais Laroca ’23, Kate Nguyen ’20, Lazi Nkosi ’23, Keren Skeete ’21, Bethany Song ’20, Linh Tran ’21, Aaliyah Veras ’23, Phuong Vo ’21, Candy Yu ’20, and Jingtong Zhang ’20.

The technical crew included Stage Managers Soleil Laurin ’20, Annie Lombardi ’20, and Stacey Nguyen ’20. Providing costume and props assistance were Chloe Doe ’20, Bianca Kerr ’23, Abby Putnam ’22, and Hannie Truong ’22. The Light Board Operator was Hannah Holt ’21, while Milie Madourie ’22 and Halie Swallie ’22 were Spot Operators. Shannon Foster ’21 was Box Office Manager, and Hannah Carmel ’23, Andrea Fox ’23, and Annie Lombardi ’20 designed the box office lobby, with assistance from Expressive Arts Department Chair Sophie Lane and Studio Art Teacher Ellie Spangler.

The show was directed and choreographed by Jennifer Jordan, Director of Theater and Dance at MHS. Tuan Gurney served as Cheer Choreographer, and Erica Morales-Armstrong ’20 and Kate Nguyen ’20 were Assistant Choreographers, while Kate also served as Dance Captain, and Riagain Wiley ’20 served as Song Captain. Joe Rose was the production’s Musical Director/Accompanist and Maia Robins-Zust oversaw set and lighting design. Ms. Jordan and MHS Resident Destiny Saunders provided costume design.

Brava to all involved!