High school theatre students take people back to the 1950s

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A production, several weeks in the making, is ready to hit center stage at North Platte High School. Thirty four high school students tried out at the beginning of the school year and are ready to debut their hard work.

Thirty four high school students perform Soda Pop at North Platte High School's Performing Arts Center. (Source: Holly Barraclough, KNOP TV)

The students are presenting 'Soda Pop,' a musical production set in the late 1950s written by Jim Hanna. The schools' rendition of it features songs made popular in that era such as 'Sh-Boom' and 'Chantilly Lace.'

The music and dancing are reminiscent of the 50s lifestyle and culture and share a story of a soda shop owner and their patrons.

Ashton Brown is a senior at North Platte High School and plays Jimmy. He said it's been fun to try a character that is different than his personality.

"Jimmy is kind of the bad guy throughout the play which doesn't really fit me as a person, but it's something new to try and I like having different acting experiences," said Brown, "Jimmy's kind of like he's the one that's in most of the maniacal parts, if there's bad happening Jimmy's there and he likes being involved in the bad stuff."

Brown said he has found a sense of community in theatre, "It’s been amazing, a lot of our times are laughing and making jokes about each other, but then there’s times where if you need someone, there’s always someone there for you," said Brown,"I've met a lot of friends and kind of made a family here."

Addie Russell, a junior, plays Mary. She invites everyone to give theatre a try. "Definitely do it because you will meet all kinds of people with different backgrounds and they will be some of the most fun people you’ll ever meet and they’ll be there for you no matter if you’re happy, sad, going through your best times, or your worst times."

Russell shared a trick for when she finds herself getting nervous during a performance. "When I first started doing shows, I was in the third grade and one of the very first things the director told me was that, if you ever get nervous to look right over the audiences’ head at the back wall, so that’s kind of always what I’ve gone with."

Brent Hansen, a junior, plays Joey and invites everyone to come to the show. "It’s going to be a lot of fun, this is probably going to be one of the best performances I’ve ever been in," said Hansen, "We’ve practiced really hard. I’ve never really connected with a role as much as I have right now."

In addition to the show, there will be a silent auction to raise money for the theatre department. The production runs Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The doors to the silent auction area opens at 6:30 p.m. and the Performing Arts Center doors open at 7:00 p.m. The cost of admission is $5 and is open auditorium seating.

The production is Directed by David Cooper and Staysha Adams.