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Carson High School presents ‘Freaky Friday’

CHINA GROVE — What began as a school trip to the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska, turned into an exciting new production for students at Carson High School.

Today through Sunday, they will treat audiences to the Disney musical “Freaky Friday.”

Theater teacher Bristol Glass said students who attended the festival saw an early screening of the production last year.

“We left the screening singing the catchy tunes, and the students who traveled with us were captivated,” Glass said. “It was, to sum it up, magical.”

Glass said that when rights to the musical were released in August, the school’s creative team “jumped at the opportunity to bring this story to the stage.”

Auditions for the production were in November, with work toward the annual spring production beginning in late February.

“Freaky Friday” features many all-hands-on-deck, collaborative numbers, including an 11-minute number titled “Go” that includes an all-cast dance with bright neon costuming and cellphones.

The number is “nothing short of spectacular,” Glass said. “The amount of hours spent on this number alone is immense.”

Sophomore Aailyah Banks, playing Danielle in the production, said work on “Freaky Friday” challenged her as she tried to “keep up with the upperclassmen.”

“Our leads are very gifted, and I was excited to keep up the pace with them,” she said.

Faculty members and school staff also make cameos in select numbers, including teachers Zach Overcash, Lauren Turchin and Ruth Mahrohn, Principal Angelo DelliSanti and School Resource Officer Nic Carpenter.

The “Freaky Friday” set was created through a collaborative effort of teacher Alex Reynolds and his technical theater class. Key players in the creation of the set were Jadean Starcher, Olivia Cunningham, Naomi Shinn and Madison Miller, who with the guidance of Reynolds designed and painted the muslin flats that help bring the scenes to life, said Glass.

Ensemble member Taylor Coffer, a junior, likened production members and instructors to family.

“I am quirky, and even when I am my most stressed this group of people finds a way to love me,” said Coffer. “Mr. Reynolds as a teacher has been one of the most significant parts of my life thus far, and the entire team of adults leading us inspires me to love theater even more than I did before ‘Freaky Friday.’”

Glass called the musical a family-friendly production that puts a new spin on a classic.

“At its heart, the story is about a mother and daughter who struggle to understand each other and the challenges they face each day,” she said. “They must literally ‘walk inside each other’s shoes’ to be able to really understand each other and strengthen the relationship they have.”

Senior Katie Lane, who plays Torrey in the production, said she hopes the show will help audience members understand that they don’t know what other people are going through.

“The world today is full of misunderstanding and being on one side of an issue or another, and this musical is about coming together in spite of that,” Lane said. “It’s a great show.”

The musical will run at 7 p.m. today through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $7, with premium seating available for $15. For tickets, go online to theatrecarson.weebly.com.

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