We are so proud and so excited to announce our Season 41!
On the front steps of East High, it’s the first day after winter break. The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes find their cliques, recount their vacations, and look forward to the new year. In Ms. Darbus’s homeroom, basketball team captain Troy discovers that Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. When he calls her, the eccentric drama teacher quickly confiscates all cell phones and assigns detention.
Between classes, Gabriella and Troy look at the audition sign-up for the school musical, but the drama diva Sharpay discourages them. At basketball practice, Troy tries to shake his desire to sing at the urging of his best friend Chad. Taylor, the science club president, discovers Gabriella’s intelligence and encourages her to join the upcoming science decathlon. While the students learn how to “act” at detention, Troy’s dad, Coach Bolton, faces off with Ms. Darbus – his star players can’t miss practice for Friday’s championship game!
The next day, hopeful Thespians strut their stuff for Ms. Darbus but they’re no match for Sharpay and her twin brother Ryan. Troy and Gabriella arrive too late to audition, but Kelsi, the show's composer, plays the song her way and encourages them to sing. Ms. Darbus overhears and gives them a callback.
News spreads fast. Sharpay is furious, and some students try to break out of their cliques during lunch. Troy and Gabriella escape to the rooftop garden and share a little bit about their real selves. The Jocks and Brainiacs devise a plan to trick Troy and Gabriella into forgetting about the musical and committing to their respective competitions.
Thinking each one has betrayed the other, Gabriella and Troy are crushed. Against Ryan’s advice, Sharpay convinces Ms. Darbus to move the callbacks to conflict with the science decathlon and championship game. Chad and Taylor put their heads together to make things right again. While the Jocks and Brainiacs compete, Sharpay and Ryan pull off a polished callback performance. When Taylor’s laptop shuts down the electricity, Troy and Gabriella rush to the theatre, but are too late. However, when the East High students arrive to rally behind them, Ms. Darbus relents, and they sing their way into the lead roles.
Back at the gym, the Wildcats win the game and the whole school comes together as winners.
The Illusion is a play by Tony Kushner, adapted from Pierre Corneille's seventeenth-century comedy, It follows a contrite father, Pridamant, seeking news of his prodigal son from the sorcerer Alcandre. The magician conjures three episodes from the young man's life. Inexplicably, each scene finds the boy in a slightly different world where names change and allegiances shift. Pridamant watches, but only as the strange tale reaches its conclusion does he learn the ultimate truth about his son.
The Illusion has a lighter mood than Kushner's most famous play, Angels in America, but the two plays share a love of poetic dialogue and theatricality.
Next to Normal is a 2008 American rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. The story centers on a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effects that managing her illness has on her family. The musical addresses grief, depression, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and the underbelly of suburban life.
Before its Off-Broadway debut, Next to Normal received several workshop performances and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Score and received Drama Desk Awards nominations for Outstanding Actress (Alice Ripley) and Outstanding Score. After its Off-Broadway run, the show played from November 2008 to January 2009 at the Arena Stage while the theater was in its temporary venue in Virginia.
The musical opened on Broadway in April 2009. It was nominated for eleven Tony Awards that year and won three: Best Original Score, Best Orchestration, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Alice Ripley. It also won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming the eighth musical in history to receive the honor. Rent, which was also directed by Michael Greif, was the last musical to win the Pulitzer, in 1996. In awarding the prize to Kitt and Yorkey, the Pulitzer Board called the show "a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals."
The first US national tour launched in November 2010, with Alice Ripley reprising her Broadway role; the tour concluded in July 2011. The Broadway production closed in January 2011 after more than 700 performances. There have been numerous international productions.