Central Crossing High School's spring musical will pay homage to the experience of a high school musical.

The theater department will present "Disney's High School Musical on Stage" at 7 p.m. April 21 and 22 and 2 p.m. April 23 at 4500 Big Run South Road.

The production is a stage adaptation of the Disney Channel's hit movie.

"It just seemed like a good fit for the kids we have this year,"said Nathan Weaver, a Central Crossing visual arts teacher who is directing the musical.

"Most of these kids were probably in first or second grade when the original 'High School Musical' film was made," he said. "They grew up with it and definitely relate to it more than a traditional classic musical like 'Oklahoma.'

"The stage production is somewhat different from the movie, but they both have themes that high school students understand," Weaver said.

"And the music is more contemporary than in a classic musical, which I think they like," he said.

About 70 students are participating in the performances, either in cast or crew.

"We probably have close to 60 that are in the cast," Weaver said. "The challenge with any musical is coordinating all of those moving parts."

Senior Kendell Edgerton plays Troy Bolton, the musical's male lead.

"This is a fun show to do because I get to bring to life all the things I saw in the original movies, but in my own way," he said. "It's fun to add your own interpretation to the character.

"The fact that we're all familiar and grew up watching 'High School Musical' makes it easier to add your own perspective to your part," Edgerton said. "You already know the songs and the basic plot, so you can focus on adding the nuances."

Senior Sophia Friend portrays Kelsi Neilsen, the East High student who writes the songs for the winter musical.

"Kelsi is basically really shy, but when she's in her element, sitting at the piano, all of that goes away," Friend said.

"She's a great character because you have the chance to portray the two sides of her personality," she said. "There's the shy side, and then there are times she's more assertive. You're not stuck in one mode with her character."

Senior Blake Hansher plays Jack Scott, who makes the school announcements.

"He's not really a major character, but he helps recap what's going on in the play," Hansher said. "He's fun to play because he has a lot of energy."

The character of Jack was created for the stage adaptation.

"It's kind of nice that he wasn't in the movie, because it gives you more room to create the character on your own terms," Hansher said.

Tickets for the shows are $5. Admission is free for Top 55 card holders.

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