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Draper Journal

Corner Canyon High’s award-winning theatre program set for its 10th show season

Oct 01, 2022 06:24PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

More than 100 students came to audition for parts in Corner Canyon’s show “Crazy for You,” the 10th fall musical since the school opened in 2013 with “Seussical.”

“We spent five hours in auditions yesterday and another five hours with callbacks,” theatre director Phaidra Atkinson said. “We didn't expect to have this many kids out, right after COVID and with a 1930’s Gershwin show, so we're surprised, but this is awesome. I think it's great all these students want to be involved.”

That involvement in the musical will total about 200 students overall once the pit orchestra, dance team and tech crew are added into the cast. In addition to Corner Canyon students, there will be some eighth-graders from local schools who will join them on the stage.

“Crazy for You” will be performed at 7 p.m., Nov. 10-12 and again on Nov. 14. There also will be a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets will be $10 in advance on or $12 at the door; it will be performed in the school auditorium, 12943 S. 700 East.

In addition to Atkinson and colleague Case Spaulding directing the show, Melissa Thorne is overseeing vocal music and Mitchell Atencio is over orchestration. Costume design is by Brooke Carn, choreography is by Noah Garcia and dance team direction is by Jamie Crowther.  Spaulding also will oversee set design.

Atkinson said that she selected the show to give students a different experience.

“In our 10 years, we have not done a classic piece like this. We've never done a show that focuses on tap dance like this; we did do a little tap in ‘Shrek,’ but I just thought this would be a lot of fun to try a classic musical and we have the right kids for it,” she said. “There’s a lot of familiarity that people might not realize that they know the show, but they are familiar with Gershwin’s songs. It's all of his music put into this musical.”

Many students were not only rehearsing for the fall musical, they also were preparing to take part in the 46th annual high school Shakespearean competition that was Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 in Cedar City. Twenty-eight student-actors were to perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” set in the 1930s, to match their musical, as well as take part in individual competitions.

“We perform a showcase for whoever wants to come see it. It involves the middle school theater kids. It involves the dance team. It involves choir, and it involves the actors. It's a really big deal,” Atkinson said about their Sept. 28 performance before the competition, which also was to include the stage tech crew competing in the tech Olympics.

Corner Canyon has won the Shakespeare sweepstakes competition in its division several times in its 10-year history: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2021.

“We have flags from every single year that we've won, and they're all hanging in our auditorium. We've been known for our strong program,” she said.

Following the school musical, will the student-directed showcase at 7 p.m., Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in the Little Theatre highlighting some short 20- or 30-minute plays.

“The kids who have taken the directing class will direct plays,” Atkinson said. “They pick them, they direct them, they cast them, they produce them.”

Students will perform “24 Pebbles” at the region competition in March 2023. State competition is in April.

The play chronicles the shooting tragedy experiences of the parents and the community of Newtown and Sandy Hook. Directed by Spaulding, “24 Pebbles” will be performed at 4 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m., March 3-4, 2023 in the Little Theatre.

The thespians’ final show of the year will be Monty Python’s “Spamalot.” It will be performed at 7 p.m., May 10-13, 2023 in the auditorium. The musical tickets will be $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

“We have some really funny kids this year, like really hilarious kids who can do really funny things and are great at common comedic timing, so we picked this show to highlight their talent,” she said. “We thought this was an uplifting show to end the year.”

It will be a year of shows that may challenge Atkinson’s favorite, “All Shook Up,” which was performed on Corner Canyon’s stage in the 2018-19 school year.

“I am excited that I've been here for 10 years and that we can keep moving forward,” she said. “I'm really glad that the community trusts me and feel like I’m teaching their kids good things. It’s been a great decade and a lot of fun.”