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Murray Junior High, High School Students Share Talents On Stage

Feb 13, 2015 06:01PM, Published by Julie Slama, Categories: Education, Today


“Kokonut Island” at Riverview Junior High includes Captain Kid, played by Matthew Watson and Swampy, performed by Caleb Black. Photo courtesy of Traci Black



Murray junior high and high school students will be on stage with musicals and plays this spring.

The regional premiere of “Kokonut Island” will be put on by about 55 students Tuesday, March 3 through Thursday, March 5 on Riverview Junior High’s stage, 751 West Tripp Lane. The show is directed by Wendy Dahl Smedshammer, with choreography by Larissa Villars Ferre. Tickets are $5. 

“Kokonut Island” tells the story about how, after a hurricane destroys a tropical island, students are encouraged to pay tuition and enroll at the high school to try to raise money to save the island from being taken away by insurance representatives, Riverview Parent-Teacher Association coordinator Traci Black said.

“There’s lots of vibrant, fun characters, such as a ghost pirate, an eccentric want-to-be pirate, honeymooners, wealthy high school students and others who need to come together,” she said. “Even our own students are coming together, working with others and making friends with those they may never even have said hello to before this show. It’s really neat to see.”

More than 50 Hillcrest Junior High students will put on “Into the Woods, Jr.” Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 20 on the school stage, 126 East 5300 South. Tickets, which are available from cast members or in the office in March, are $5 each or six for $25. VIP tickets, which include reserved seating, a water bottle and candy voucher, are $10.

“Basically, it’s the first act of the show, which is fun for kids this age,” director Jewell Loveless said. “I love that it’s about fairytales and how the ensemble, at times, is the set and the chorus tells the story.”

The music director is Kristen Elder. The sets are coordinated by Mark Tobler and Nicole Shannon and the 15-member art club has helped in painting the set pieces.

About 30 Murray High School students will put on “The Diary of Anne Frank” at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 5 through Saturday, March 7, and again, Monday, March 9 in the school’s Little Theater. Tickets are $5 for students, $6 for non-students and $7 at the door.

“I chose this show because our theme this year is ‘Theatre Equals Family,’ and I think this show gives our students and our audiences a beautiful insight into how families face adversity together and become stronger, better families as they struggle with their adversities,” director Will Saxton said.

Murray High will also put on “Romeo and Juliet” at 7 p.m., Monday, May 4 through Wednesday, May 6. Student-directed one-act plays will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 21 through Saturday, May 23. Tickets will be $3 for both shows, which will be held in the school’s Little Theatre, 5440 South State St.

Cottonwood High students will perform “A Few Good Men,” Friday, March 20 through Tuesday, March 24; “Cabaret Night,” April 17; “The Addams Family,” Tuesday, May 12 through Friday, May 15; and a one-act festival Wednesday, May 20 through Friday, May 22. All the shows will begin at 7 p.m. in Cottonwood’s Joan Hahn black box theatre, 5715 South 1300 East, said Cottonwood theater director Adam Wilkins. 


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