Members of Youth Music Theatre Scotland are proving they are all in this together to bring their latest production to the stage in Kirkcaldy this weekend.
Around 60 children and young people will be performing their own version of High School Musical at the Adam Smith Theatre on Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
They are set to break free in song and dance to bring their production of the 2006 American musical television film to life as they tell the story of two high school juniors from rival cliques who try out for the lead parts in their high school musical.
Ronan Corkey, who is from Kirkcaldy, is the theatre’s musical director.
He said this show is one the young people, from across Fife, have been really keen to perform.
He said: “Usually it is the production team and the board of the company which picks the show, but the kids have all been asking to do High School Musical and have been driving this one.
“This has been our intensive Easter project – we started rehearsing this on Saturday and have been doing that all day every day at the Adam Smith Theatre ever since. We have one week to put this show together and it has been going really well so far.”
Ronan (19) explained that both himself and Amanda Glover, creative director, held auditions for the parts two or three weeks ago.
“Everyone is given a chance to audition and everyone in the cast auditioned – they all gave it a go, they were so enthusiastic about this show. It is great to see everyone wanting to take part.”
The former Balwearie High pupil said that while the cast have been practising their roles every day this week in the theatre from 10am until 5pm, they only get two rehearsals with local musicians and the orchestra before the actual shows.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of High School Musical – the film which launched the careers of actors Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens – Ronan explained what it is about.
“High School Musical is about a new girl in school, Gabriella Montez who is very clever and is in the science decathlon team and the lead boy, who is captain of the baseball team, Troy Bolton,” he said.
“They both come and audition for the high school musical and it is about whether they stick to what they know or try something new.”
Together, they try out for the lead parts in their high school musical, and this causes division among all the school’s students. Despite attempts to stomp on their dreams, Troy and Gabriella resist peer pressure and rivalry and end up inspiring others along the way not to “stick to the status quo”.
Ronan continued: “People will recognise songs from the film but because we are doing our own version there are also new songs as well as new characters. We have brought together all the best bits from the film, so they will all be in it.
“This is a Youth Music Theatre Scotland production in partnership with Fife Cultural Trust. Without the Trust we would not be able to have this venue or have the box office and the staff.”
And 2018 is a special year for Youth Music Theatre Scotland (YMTS) as it marks its tenth anniversary.
YMTS is dedicated to the development of children and young people to help them learn through creative opportunities.
They have performed at many different venues including Lochgelly Centre and the Edinburgh Fringe in recent years with various productions including Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story and Footloose.
Ronan continued: “This is our first show of the year and we have four more coming up. They include Made in Dagenham in June, Honk Junior and West Side Story in July, which is our big two-week project. We have done it twice before – it will be good to do it again this year.”
Ronan has been involved with YMTS for six years. He has been in the role of musical director, on a part-time basis, for the past two years.
He is currently a student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland studying music with education – he is in the second year of a four year course.
The experience gainedthrough working with YMTS is proving to be helpful to his studies. He also plays the piano for the charity’s productions as well as for shows by other local companies including KAOS.
He said for young people wanting to get involved in musical productions, YMTS is ideal.
“A whole range of people come along – and for many it is their first theatre experience.
“It is great for them to see what it is like being on stage – the young people love being part of it.”