RED OAK — In their first production of the New Year and fourth for the 2016-17 school year, Red Oak High School theater students are more than ready to present, "The Drowsy Chaperone." Theatre director Christopher Rogers noted that the production is their first musical of the year and described it as "fun and PG-rated."

“It’s about a woman named Janet Van De Graaff, who is feeling a little sad and blue, so she decides to put on the record to her favorite musical, 'The Drowsy Chaperone.' As she listens to it, the musical comes to life in her living room,” Rogers said. "In her vision, there is a chorus girl in the show 'Feldzieg’s Follies' that has decided to leave the show to marry her fiance, Robert Martin. There are gangsters who are trying to make sure that she doesn’t leave and a chaperone that is supposed to keep Janet and Robert apart before the show starts. She fails at her at job and craziness ensues.”

Portraying Janet Van De Graaff is senior MaKenzie White who recently received her acceptance letter to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.

“I’ve been involved in theater since I was five years old and I’ve done it at the high school all four years. In this show, my character wants to be the center of attention all the time. It’s very easy to play her because she is so dramatic at times and I am too,” White said.

Fellow cast mate, and one of White's good friends, is junior Maddie Simpson, who plays the drowsy chaperone.

“I seem to always get cast as the drunk, and I love playing the part. It’s just fun. This year is the earliest our musical has ever been,” Simpson said. “We started working on it at the same time we do every year. So that made it kind of stressful getting everything together, but it’s also a shorter and funnier show.”

Simpson noted that she, much like White, plans to further her theater career after high school. After graduation, she hopes to attend Abilene Christian University with dreams of becoming a theater teacher.

“Maddie and I have been in two productions this year and they were the same shows,” White added.

Auditions for the show were conducted at the end of September when students of all grade level were cast.

“After the auditions, we worked on music and blocking for the rest of the semester. Over the break, we worked on building, and, for the past two weeks, we’ve been running through it and putting in last minute touches,” Rogers stated. “This is a collection of students from the theater production class, theater one students — that are both in the show and on the crew — and two students who aren’t in theater that auditioned for it.”

Show times are Jan. 12-14, 2017 at the ROHS Performing Arts Center at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults and may be purchased at the door or online at redoakhs.seatyourself.biz. Credit cards will be accepted as a form of payment at the door.

Senior Citizen Gold Card members receive one free ticket with their card. For more information, please contact Christopher Rogers at Christopher.Rogers@redoakisd.org.

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Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL

(469) 517-1454