By Rose Luna

Killeen Daily Herald

A brainy high school student and a jock fall in love and break social barriers. It's "Grease"

with a modern twist.

Two high school students, Gabrielle Montez and Troy Bolton, who are worlds apart – the school's hoops star and the president of the science club – secretly decide to audition for their school's musical, a decision that turns both their world and their school upside down in Disney's "High School Musical."

More than 60 teenagers will put on the production, filled with sabotage, drama, love schemes and enough musical numbers to give Andrew Lloyd Weber a run for his money today at 7 p.m. at Harker Heights High School.

"This show is a modern-day, high-energy musical telling of Shakespeare's classic love story Romeo and Juliet,' along the lines of the Broadway hit Grease,'" says director Rebekah Griesmyer from the VLA Children's Theatre.

More than 100 local students auditioned for the show, which features two separate casts, both presenting full-scale performances. About 65 students from all four local high schools and several middle schools, as well as Copperas Cove, Salado, Temple and Belton are performing in this production.

Copperas Cove High School students Eric Hauk and Ashley White recently participated in Cove's production of "High School Musical" and were cast in the same parts.

Playing wacky fraternal twins Sharpay and Eric Ryan, the pair auditioned for the parts without reading from a script.

"The part comes naturally to me. Take me and saut it.

That's Ryan," Hauk said.

White was a little put off by the musical at first, but her part grew on her.

"The movie looked silly, but I think every kid can relate to one of the characters," White said.

Jasmine Woods was practically a typecast for the part of Gabrielle.

This is Woods' first musical, but she has done work with Vive Les Arts in the past. She will be a freshman this upcoming school year at Copperas Cove High School.

John Smith also has no concrete theater experience, but his fellow cast members agree that he is one of the strongest male dancers and singers on the cast. The recent Shoemaker High School grad, who plays Troy in the first cast, intends to go to Temple College next semester and study music education.

The second cast Gabrielle, Brittany Adams, feels the musical is a good interpretation of "High School Musical" the movie, but the musical incorporates more dance and singing numbers.

Adams, unlike Woods, also feels she's a bit more outgoing than her character.

Hauk, who plays in both casts, said each cast has its own strengths and weaknesses, but it's a good mix.

"One Sharpay is a strong singer, and the other one is a stronger actress," Hauk said.

This is the second summer Griesmyer has worked with Vive Les Arts and Killeen Independent School District to produce a musical.

"I enjoy working with the children's theater.

Kids are like sponges – they eat everything up," Griesmyer said.

Performances are today and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $8 for children 18 and under. Tickets are available at the VLA Theatre Box Office, located at 3401 S. W.S. Young Drive in Killeen. For more information on show times or ticketing, call 526-9090 or visit

Contact Rose Luna at or call (254) 501-7469

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.