Monday, Nov 11 2013 01:53 PM

Musical follows growth of student performers

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Sean LaMonte, 16, and Brooke Langston, 16, pose as characters Montgomery and Coco from the Tehachapi High School Advanced Drama Club's upcoming production of "Fame." Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

The Tehachapi High School Advanced Drama Class is presenting "Fame" with shows beginning Thursday, Nov. 14, and running through Sunday Nov. 17. The play chronicles students of the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Advanced drama students from Tehachapi High School will transform upon stepping on stage to present "Fame" to Tehachapi audiences.

Shows will be Nov. 14 through 17 in the performing arts room behind the cafeteria, 801 Dennison Road, each night at 7 p.m., and on Nov. 16 and 17, a matinee will begin at 2 p.m.

The play is directed by four-year drama student Emily Stults, who said she helped in its selection.

"I've watched the show, I've watched all the movies," she said. "It brings out the qualities of everybody in the class. It's really fun and there's a lot of music and singing and dancing and it's acting and everything."

The musical follows a group of students entering a performing arts high school, from their audition through their senior year. The students specialize in various departments, including music, dancing and acting.

"There's a lot of character development," Stults said. "Each character just goes through high school like any kid would go through high school, but they do it with a lot more pressure because they're doing performing arts as well as regular school."

The student director said that because the play follows high school students, she thinks students in high school are the best choices to portray those characters.

"Our actors are really great, they're really phenomenal," she said. "I think they all bring their own energy and that will really attract audiences. These are characters that everybody already knows from the show and from the movies, so I think that all of our actors bring a different light to each character that no one has ever really seen."

Sean LaMonte, 16, who plays the character Montgomery, praised Stults for her casting choices.

"I think that Emily casted this play really, really well, and that a lot of the characters on stage aren't necessarily acting," he said. "Their characters match who they are, quite often."

Sixteen-year-old Brooke Langston agreed.

"We're drama students portraying drama students," she said with a laugh.

Langston plays Coco, a "sassy Puerto Rican" who is good at everything.

Drama teacher Lara Crowe expressed pride in the work the students are putting in to the production.

"They are very dedicated and they work hard," she said. "They put so much into it. They are very dedicated to being excellent."

Stults said she thinks "Fame" will be a great attraction for the community.

"It's fun, it's light, so it's something that you can come and enjoy as a family," she said. "Also it does teach a lot of good lessons, so they'll enjoy that, as well. Also the music is fun, so a lot of people get drawn in to that."

Tickets cost $6 or $4 with an ASB card and can be purchased at the door. Proceeds go toward the THS Drama Club.

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