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Willowcreek theater flips the fairytale

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Willowcreek Middle School’s production of “Once Upon a High School” starts Thursday, Nov. 11, at the school’s auditorium, 2275 W 300 N. There are four shows Nov. 11-13 and 15. Tickets are available at the door or online on Willowcreek’s website.

“The students really connected with the message of this play – we’re the authors of our own story,” said director Cali Wilkes.“You can write your story and you can change the ending.”

The fairytale and real worlds collide when the Woodsman and Stepsisters, “incidental” characters in the fairytale world, escape to a high school in the real world. “The fairytale world starts to fall apart without these so-called minor characters. “We really see that every character, every person has purpose,” explained Wilkes.

There are 33 speaking parts in “Once Upon a High School,” all students in Wilkes’s advanced theater program. “I always enjoy working with the students. They are invested and really committed to creating well-developed characters,” said Wilkes. “They weren’t able to rely on the ensemble – each of the fairytale characters come from another story. The actors had to develop their own backstory from there.”

“We have a great mix of students this year in our program. Some have been performing for years and this is their ‘thing.’ Others are in their first play and coming from athletic teams,” added Wilkes. “We have almost equal boys and girls, which is unusual. They’re all so excited to belong and create something together. They’ve even asked for extra rehearsals just so they can be together more.”

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