The Westerville City School District's Summer Theatre Enrichment program is kicking off its inaugural year with the musical, "Crazy for You," featuring students and theater directors from all three high schools.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. July 18-20 and 2 p.m. July 21 at Westerville North High School, 950 County Line Road.
"This is the first time for all three schools to come together and perform a theater production in this way," said Scott Ebbrecht, the district's director of alternative education and assessment.
Ebbrecht said recent graduates who are participating receive experience they can take with them as they move into college and careers.
"Other students receive transcribed 0.25 elective credit," Ebbrecht said. "This is important as it shows up on their high school transcript, so when they apply to college, there is further documentation of their engagement in such an activity."
Matthew Wolfe, the after-school director at Westerville South High School who's also hired by the district's theater departments to work with students during the year, said Ebbrecht brought the three high-school theater directors together -- and all were immediately intrigued.
"We quickly decided on roles and started creating a dream team and looking through titles," said Wolfe, who's serving as artistic director and producer of "Crazy for You."
Kim Mollohan, North theater director, will direct the show; Stephanie Matushoneck, Westerville Central theater director, will serve as tech supervisor.
"We wanted a show that was well-known, something that one of the schools hadn't done in recent history and a title that would appropriately challenge students from across the district," Wolfe said.
He said the musical comedy, "Crazy for You," by Ken Ludwig and featuring music by George and Ira Gershwin, was an easy choice.
The show first was produced on Broadway in 1992 and was nominated for nine Tony Awards.
With such standards as "Slap That Bass," "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "I Got Rhythm," Wolfe said, "Crazy for You" is a snapshot of the optimistic musicals of the 1930s.
Zach Ryan, a 2019 North graduate, said the show is hilarious.
"It takes all of my strength not to bust out laughing in rehearsals at nearly every line," he said. "Not only is there a great sense of community, there is also an outstanding production that talented Westerville students have created."
South sophomore Bella Price said the show is special because it unites all three high schools and the story is almost solely based on what they're all giving up hours of their summer to do: theater.
"We had five weeks to create something magical, and we truly did," said Ella Dickerson, a South junior. "Countless students who were strangers came together to create something beautiful because we all love the art of theater."
Central senior Frank Schulze said the community should check out the show to see "the best that Westerville has to offer."
John Vermeulen is serving as orchestra director; Matt Ebright is music director; Cindy Straub choreographed the production; and Judith Berger provided costume design.
South alum Tori Perdue, sound designer, and Hunter McCune, light designer, round out the creative team.
Wolfe said students currently enrolled in middle schools and high schools in Westerville auditioned to be part of the experience.
"We had a total of 130 students interested in joining the technical crew, cast and pit orchestra," he said. "There are 80 total involved with some aspect of the summer experience."
Tickets cost $15 and may be reserved at tinyurl.com/westervillecrazy or purchased at the door.