High schools’ spring musicals bring Broadway shows to the stage

  • Written by Shannon Michael

If you’ve never experienced seeing a Broadway musical on stage or felt ticket prices to see a professional show are too much, then attending any of the three musicals staged by Bothell, Woodinville and Inglemoor High schools’ theatre arts programs provides an affordable introduction while supporting fine arts education in public schools.

The programs expose students to all aspects of a stage production. Besides learning acting, choreography, dancing and singing, students, including those who prefer to stay out of the limelight, can learn costuming, hair and makeup, stage management, lighting and sound, set design and construction, and props.

A smaller group of students volunteer as stagehands during each performance, while many students perform in the orchestra pit, providing live music.

Bye Bye BirdieBye Bye Birdie (Photo courtesy of Laurie Ascanio)

Bye Bye Birdie
New drama teacher Chaya Glass’s musical theatre class at Bothell High will kick off the spring musical season when they bring Bye Bye Birdie to the Northshore Performing Arts Center stage April 24 and 26 and May 1-2 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on April 26, and a 2:30 p.m. matinee on May 2.

Set in the 1950s, the classic musical tells the story of rock star Conrad Birdie, who is the biggest thing to top the charts. But when the U.S. Army drafts Birdie, his manager Albert Peterson sees his meal ticket preparing to fly the coop. A plan is hatched to send Conrad to small-town America to plant his goodbye kiss on one lucky fan for the entire world to see.

Their selection of super fan Kim MacAfee sends the wholesome enclave of Sweet Apple, Ohio into chaos. Sweet Apple can’t take its teens’ riotous rebellion, inspired by the arrival of bad-boy Birdie. Will Sweet Apple ever be the same?
Students Sonja Usher, Caleb Anderson, John Han, and Makenna Schumacher star in the lead roles of Rose Alvarez, Albert Peterson, Conrad Birdie and Kim MacAfee respectively.

“Directing my first musical at Bothell High School has been an absolute pleasure. The amazing amount of talent and creativity, both on and off stage that has come together to create this production is outstanding. Hours of rehearsal, singing, dancing and construction have gone into this production and we are so excited to share it with our audiences,” Glass wrote by email.

Tickets are $12 general admission, $9 for students with ASB card, seniors and military.  They can be purchased at the door beginning one hour before show time, or in advance online at

Urinetown: The Musical

UrinetownUrinetown: The Musical (Photo courtesy of Katharina Muller)The Woodinville High School Theatre Company’s production of Urinetown: The Musical, opens in the school’s new theatre on May 2, followed by shows on May 3, 8, 9, and 10. All shows begin at 7 p.m.

Directed and produced by instructor Josh Butchart, the Tony Award-winning musical, by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, tells the earnest tale of love, greed and revolution.

The hilarious show is set in a dystopian city that has been plagued by drought for 20 years. The drought has been so severe that society has banned private bathrooms, requiring everyone to conserve water by using for-profit public amenities.

These pay-to-pee bathrooms are controlled by a monopolizing corporation know as “Urine Good Company,” which keeps prices artificially high in order to maintain societal control and preserve the dwindling water.

The company resorts to strong-arm tactics for those citizens who beak the sanitation ordinances that prevent peeing anywhere other than the public amenities – banishing lawbreakers to the mythical Urinetown.

Things may be changing though, as a brash, good-natured young man, named Bobby Strong, has begun questioning society’s regulations and the righteousness of those in power.

The cast is comprised of 35 WHS students, from a wide variety of backgrounds – from theatre, to choir, to band, to baseball and football.

The show is the final stage performance for seniors Ben Griffin (Senator Fipp), Amelia Marshall (Ms. Pennywise), and Alondra Cochran (Ensemble).

A pit orchestra from the WHS music department supports the cast, and crews of students from the WHS technical theatre program handle the technical aspects of the show, from set building and lighting to publicity.

Senior technical theatre students include: Sydney Bodman (stage manager and paint head), Bryce Wimberly (master carpenter), Connor Vache (technical assistant), Daniel Ochs (sound), Mack Ohnemus (lights), Maiah Swigert and Sallie Bieterman (costumes), Amelia Marshall (hair and makeup), Jordan Bister (props) and Hailey Fulton (house manager).
Tickets are $10 for students and seniors; $15 general admission, and $25 VIP (front-center section), and are available at the door or in advance online at

Butchart is advising parental discretion for this production, citing it has some violence and an on stage death. He recommended it for ages 13 and up.

Woodinville High School Theatre is located at 19819 136th Ave NE. Visit for more information.

Inglemoor Performing Arts presents the classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma! at the Northshore Performing Arts Center May 9, 15, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., and May 10 at 1 p.m.

Directed by instructor Gretchen Stewart, the musical tells the story of Laurey Williams and two men who vie for her affections, Jud, the hired farm hand and Curly, the handsome cowboy. The joys, sorrows and hardships of the characters are reflected in their struggles to find hope, love and the “American Dream.”

Patrick Olsen as Curly, Anna Radovich as Laurey, and Matt Tolentino as Jud Fry headline the cast, along with Ashley Klimper as Aunt Eller, Sophia Konat as Ado Annie and Noah Puff as Will Parker.

“It has been a joy directing and producing this amazing musical.  The hard working student cast, orchestra, and crew are absolutely phenomenal to work with as are the highly talented production staff!” Stewart wrote by email.

Tickets will be $15 for adults and students without ASB; and $10 for students with ASB, children under 12, seniors, and military. They will be available at the door (cash or check only), or can be purchased online in advance at

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