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Draper Journal

Juan Diego Catholic High theatre season to include ‘Freaky Friday,’ ‘She Kills Monsters’

Oct 04, 2021 11:39AM ● By Julie Slama

Juan Diego Catholic High theatre students rehearse for their November show, “Freaky Friday.” (Photo courtesy of Hayley Hikman)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

The theatre department’s school year started in a whirlwind at Juan Diego Catholic High School as the cast and crew of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” were rehearsing for the 45th annual high school Shakespeare competition as well as students were learning the choreography and music for “Freaky Friday,” the show they will put on their school stage this fall.

“It’s a fun show—the music, story—and we have the cast and voices for it,” said theatre director Joe Crnich about their musical.

The Shakespeare competition, held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Cedar City, begins this year with video submissions in the monologues and scenes, which is new this year. The finals in those competitions will be held in-person. Last year, JDCHS senior Anthony Tibolla won the Cambridge Division’s monologue.

In addition to the actors, the school orchestra and choir also were expected to compete.

At the same time, students were working under the direction of choreographer Jessica Holker and music director John Van Wagner on “Freaky Friday,” which is slated for 7 p.m. showtimes Nov. 18-20 as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 21 at Juan Diego’s auditorium, 300 E. 11800 South. Tickets are $5 for adults and $8 for adults and are available online or at the door.

“Freaky Friday,” which was developed by Disney Theatrical Productions, is based on the 1972 book by Mary Rodgers and has had three film adaptions. The storyline has a mother and daughter magically swap bodies as they spend a day trying to understand one another in this energetic musical comedy.

“It’s a heartfelt and fun show where they learn that love and respect between the bond of a mother and daughter,” Crnich said.

In Juan Diego’s production, Catelin Raven plays Ellie Blake and Grace Sims is her mother, Katherine. Ellie’s stepfather, Mike, is played by Hans Fenton. The role of her brother, as of press deadline, was yet to be announced. Ellie’s friends, Gretchen and Hannah, are played by Carolyn Vazquez and Maddi Bogus, respectfully, and the bully, Savannah, is portrayed by Katie Moyle.  Katherine’s assistant is played by Olivia Thomas.

The show’s stage manager and assistant director is Hayley Hickman; assistant director, Camelia Diaz; lighting director, Skyler Le Melle; and sound direction is under Duncan Van Hecke.

Juan Diego’s spring show is “She Kills Monsters,” a story where “average Agnes” loses her parents and younger sister, Tilly, to a car accident in Ohio in 1995. Not having been close to Tilly, seen as a geek or nerd, while she was alive, Agnes decides to learn more about her by playing a Dungeons & Dragons module her sister wrote, allowing the show to take place both in reality and the fantasy of the game world.

“It’s a beautiful, funny play that is both sweet and sad,” Crnich said about the play written by Qui Nguyen that includes ’90s pop culture and music. “It’s heartwarming and fun.”

The show will be performed at Juan Diego at 7 p.m., March 24-29, 2022, with ticket prices $5 for students and $8 for adults.

The Soaring Eagles also are expected to compete in region in March; the state theatre competition is in April.