Oak Creek For Soroco High School senior Martin Germain, playing himself in the school's musical wasn't as easy as he thought it would be.
"I believe there's always room for improvement, but it's going really well," Germain said during a Wednesday rehearsal. "It's taken a lot of time to really act out our characters because we're playing ourselves. When acting, it's a little tougher than you think."
Eleven Soroco High School students from all four grades were involved in the school's second annual student-written and produced musical, "Reach for the Stars."
Valerie Broadbent, who teaches drama at Soroco High School and who directed the musical, said having students help write the script for the American Idol-inspired musical is important to help get them involved.
"I think from this, they realized script-writing is not as big of a deal as they thought it would be," she said. "It's a lot easier because it's just the typical English model of having a conflict and solving that conflict."
"Reach for the Stars," which was performed April 28 and Friday night, centered around "what happens to students in a high school when they compete to be on a national (talent) television show."
Instead of using the formulaic style of American Idol, the students decided to include auditions for other talents, including a rendition of the balcony scene from William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," baton twirling, a duet, student-written and performed music and a performance by a boy band.
Junior Amanda Wilson is taking Broadbent's drama class as independent study, and had been working on the script and the musical with Broadbent since January.
"She'd throw ideas at me, I'd throw stuff at her and we just mushed it together," Wilson said.
"We have a very similar, sarcastic sense of humor," Broadbent added.
"Yeah, I'd be thinking it and she'd say it," Wilson countered.
The decision to stage the musical in Oak Creek opened the doors to an opportunity to poke fun at Oak Creek, describing the town as, "podunk, backwater and hillbilly," Broadbent said.
"We poke a lot of fun at ourselves," she said. "You have to be able to do that."
"Reach for the Stars" was the second performance the drama students participated in during the school year.
Students in drama are exposed to basic acting skills and then spend the rest of the year preparing for productions. The class is considered an elective English credit.
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