Photos by Chris Marchand
By Sarah McCarthy
The Gordon Wood Auditorium was the place to be for Dryden High School’s Drama Production of Disney’s High School Musical 2. A talented cast of students entertained audiences of all ages for four nights last week. It was an enjoyable show that made the audience forget all about the cold weather outside and took us away to a place of summer love. The show had parents, kids and community members, young and old reminiscing on their own summer memories.
The performance was a rollercoaster of emotions from slow and touching numbers like You are the Music in Me, and Gotta Go my Own Way, that really showcased the young performers voices and then combined with fun and upbeat tunes like What Time is It, and All for One, that brought audiences to their feet. Overall it was a fun, family show that brought together relatable themes of life after high school, struggles with friendships and relationships and wanting to make the most of the summer.
As hard as it may be to take a story that a lot of people know of from screen and adapt it to a stage play, this cast did a wonderful job of bringing HSM2 to life. Of course, the major characters were played brilliantly by Emma Penner as Gabriella Montez and Caleb Sundin as Troy Bolton. But other minor characters also had their moments to shine. Sharpay was nothing less than fabulous and sassy, portrayed perfectly by Kaitlyn Bates (and Kenzie Rowat for one show) along side with Sharpay’s brother Ryan played by Jadon Moorman. The two characters are known as an iconic duo from the Disney movies and their actors Bates (Rowat) and Moorman did right by their legacy. All the actors brought something fresh and new to their well-known characters on stage.
Four Year veteran of the drama club, Emma Penner who played the lead role of Gabriella Montez says she identified a lot with her character, so much that it was almost scary. Penner reflected back on her experiences throughout the years in the drama productions and said, “Those are the memories that stick with you through high school. I know that these 16 nights of shows I’ve been a part of are going to be the highlights of my high school career.”
Penner was already feeling nostalgic on opening night, realizing those next few nights would be her final performances of high school productions.
“It’s a wonderful environment and such an amazing community. It’s a family that we build.”
And that’s a wrap for the Wildcats, for Penner as well as a few other graduating Grade 12 student performers and backstage helpers. It was a final slew of performances the group should be very proud to have been a part of. HSM2 was yet again, another impressive show put on by the DHS Dramatic Arts Association.