Garner Cleveland Record

Garner High drama students chronicle high school drama in “Fame”

From left, Camden McCall, Angela Lopez, Tana Washaya, Savannah Richmond, Michael Robertson, Alfredo Monroy, Anna Bennett, Joyce Cooper and Megan King practice a scene from “Fame.”
From left, Camden McCall, Angela Lopez, Tana Washaya, Savannah Richmond, Michael Robertson, Alfredo Monroy, Anna Bennett, Joyce Cooper and Megan King practice a scene from “Fame.” courtesy of Garner Magnet High School Theater Department

Drama, love, heartbreak, failures, triumphs and the many challenges of being a teenager in high school will be on display Thursday night in Garner Magnet High’s auditorium.

Garner Magnet High’s drama department will put on “Fame,” a musical, which opens tomorrow.

Fame was originally a film in 1980, written by Christopher Gore and produced by David De Silva. The play follows a group of students throughout their high school years at the New York High School of Performing Arts. It takes place between 1980-1984.

The characters audition at the school's theater department.

One of the main characters, Carmen Diaz, played by Anna Bennett, wants to leave school and make it big in Los Angeles.

Bennett, an 11th-grade student, who has been acting in plays since she was in sixth grade, also came up with the choreography for the play.

This is the second year she has been the lead in choreographing a play.

Asked how she does it, Bennett said, “Honestly I don't really know. I just basically look at the song, listen to it. I kind of have a vision in my head. It just comes to me. And whenever I think of something I write it down in words so I don't forget it.”

Bennett said to see everything come together and people dancing to your moves is all worth it.

Camden McCall, a senior who plays Nick Piazza, said he was drawn to the play because of the story line. He liked the fact that the characters were going through high school.

McCall said when preparing for the part he consulted his father, who also graduated from high school in 1984 to ask him what the times were like.

“So it’s pretty cool that I get to line up with my dad's age,” McCall said. “So he told me it was pretty fun. Everybody was really outgoing and there was a lot to do, so everybody always had an open mind. So I took that as something I could build on.”

Cheryle Prater, the director of the play said the cast is one of the best she has ever had because of their teamwork. She said the students rehearsed three to five hours every day in preparation for the play.

There are 45 cast members and even more who work behind the scenes, including student-athletes, Prater said.

“They all really get a long really well,” she said. “There aren't any people who try to outshine one another. They all have each other’s back. And they truly care about the product they put on stage.”

The play runs April 2-4 at 7 p.m. each night. The play was supposed to be on March 14, but snow forced its postponement. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the school during lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m or at the door.

“This is something a lot of people can relate to,” Prater said. “A lot of the parents of the students were from the '80s and the current kids love the retro. They dig the clothing and big hair.”

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Twitter: @GarnerCleveland

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