Just Another High School Musical

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Clayton Ridge High School and Middle School students (above) practice a scene from Just Another High School Musical, a rollicking comedy full of physical comedy, gags and satirical re-writings. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

Clayton Ridge High School and Middle School students are preparing to present “Just Another High School Musical” by Bryan Starchman and Stephen Murray to community members on Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, at 7 p.m. and Sunday April 2, at 2 p.m. in the Clayton Ridge Elementary auditorium in Garnavillo. The stage presentation is c0-directed by Avonique (Nika) Tipsword and Frank Davis. 

“The cast has been receiving excellent support, and reservation for performances are already rolling in,” noted the co-directors “Don’t wait to reserve a seat for this fantastic show!” 

Seat reservations are available by contacting one of the directors at or

“I am incredibly proud of this group of student actors,” commented Tipsword. “Everything is falling into place, and they are embracing the timeline with professional-level gusto.” 

Tipsword described the musical as a rollicking, comedy spoof encompassing all the arts. Whether you are a fan of classic Shakespearean literature, slapstick comedy, benchmark production films like Citizen Kane, or pop culture television series quotes, there is something for everyone. 

Dave Pogenklass will accompany the cast of 18 on piano, with a cameo appearance by Clayton Ridge Superintendent Shane Wahls. Audience participation will be encouraged. 

The musical is considered a shorter piece, lasting only an hour and a half, but student actors whole-heartedly agree it will take much longer to complete the show because of all the laugh-out-loud moments! “The harder you laugh in this show, the better it gets,” Tipsword explained. “Humor and laughter are contagious energies; if actors know you’re enjoying it, they throw themselves behind their commitment to the character even more.” 

She went on to say, “Because there are so many references to the arts we will be encouraging our audience members to keep track – the audience member with the most inclusive correct list of all the references in the show will be awarded a T-shirt signed by the cast. There’s over 40 performance art references in the 90 minutes of stage time – definitely something for everyone! 

The playwrights provide a story of the play, which gives both the performers and the audience a window into the side-splitting humor that follows: “A group of high school actors, abandoned by their drama teacher for good reason, have to fend for themselves opening night in front of a live audience. Their first song, “We apologize In Advance,” shows just how unprepared they are! The Assistant Director and the Stage Manager find a box of scripts, which they pass out to the cast, and they try to throw something together. What follows is a rollicking show full of physical comedy, gags and satirical re-writing....”

Dancing, singing, stage combat and costume malfunctions – this is a show you won’t want to miss,” says cast members.

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