Summit High aims to rock audience with spring musical | SummitDaily.com

Summit High aims to rock audience with spring musical

A dreamer tears at the seams of a dystopian future in which conformity reigns and rocking out might be worse than murder.

No one seems to remember how things used to be in this bleach-white futuristic society, carefully created by three scores of Summit High School students — including the cast, pit musicians and stage crew — for the school's spring musical, "We Will Rock You."

The show premieres at 7 tonight at SHS. Encore performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday with the finale at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children.

The play is based on the music of Queen, and it's set in a tightly controlled world where musical instruments are forbidden, rock is virtually unknown and the Ga Ga Kids all walk, talk, dress and even think alike.

Playing the dreamer of prophecy is 18-year-old senior Orion Van Oss, who landed the leading role of "Galileo" in the production that's been in the making since December's prep work and January's auditions, he said.

Acting in 20 plays or more since third grade, Van Oss is a seasoned performer, and this will be his eighth SHS production, doing two each year all four years of his high school career.

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"I'm really glad to be going out with a bang," Van Oss said of his final high school play. "It's a tall order. I have to sing Freddie Mercury songs, and it's a big responsibility to get them right."

In the play, Van Oss hears long-lost rock lyrics in his head, and the production finds humor when he says them aloud, stealing lines from everyone from The Beatles to David Bowie, the Spice Girls to Sir Mix-A-Lot that, at least for a moment, seem to fit the script.

"I really had to delve into what it was like to have voices in your head and be so different from everyone else in your class and be a nonconformist to such an extreme degree as this character is," Van Oss said of preparing for the role. "It was a long journey to figure out what it meant to be chosen and to have a responsibility to save the world, even if you didn't sign up for it."

He's acting alongside a good friend and another SHS theater veteran in 18-year-old senior Claire Davidson, who has also been involved with the school's productions since her freshman year.

As Scaramouche in "We Will Rock You," Davidson plays a second dreamer who is "literal, focused and to the point," she said, a nice complement to Van Oss but also derided by her peers for being different.

"It's a fantastic role," Davidson continued. "I'm really excited to play across from my best friend Orion, and we are just kind of playing different incarnations of ourselves. It's really great because the dynamic is still there."

Meanwhile, the wardrobe and set include all the appropriate rock adornments, complete with professional lighting, a stage that smokes, hippy chicks, nods to the British Invasion and, likely more familiar to the young actors' and actresses' parents, a VHS cassette.

Cast in the play for a smaller role and serving as a member of the tech crew, 17-year-old Alana LeBaron helped make it all happen. While she won't be nearly as prominent on stage as other actors will this weekend, LeBaron seems to know this show about as well as anyone.

She helped hang all the lights and build and paint the set. She also had to learn the choreography and memorize numerous lines.

"You're going to experience a love for rock 'n' roll, if you're into that," she said of the play. "You're going to see a lot of flashing lights, you're going to see a lot of humor, a lot of action, a lot of outrageous stuff, basically."

Anyone who buys a ticket might be in store for more than they expect, Davidson said when given an opportunity to plug the show.

"It's going to be all around a really good showcase of not only the talent of the actors and singers, but also the school band and what our tech crew and cast can actually put on stage," she said. "It's really been something that we're proud of, and we can't wait for people to see it."

If you go

What: Summit High School spring musical “We Will Rock You”

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Summit High School auditorium, 16201 Colorado 9, Breckenridge

Info: Tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults.

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