Clinton High School to present Singin’ in the Rain

Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer Published April 2, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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Carol Rolf/Contributing Photographer

A large group of senior students will appear in the Clinton High School Theatre’s production of Singin’ in the Rain. Among them are, front row, from left, Alyssa McKnight, Juliana Parish, Kylie Blanton, Megan Hagerman and Alexis Black; and back row, Dakota Mooney, Libby Walsh, Josh Pryor, Jentry Wade, David Mendoza and Kasey Williams. The musical will be presented at 7 p.m. April 21 and at 5 p.m. April 22 in the Clinton Auditorium, 115 Joe Bowling Road in Clinton.

CLINTON — Rain is in the forecast for Clinton High School on April 21 and 22.

“There will be rain,” said Zac Perry, drama teacher and director of the Clinton High School Theatre’s upcoming production of the musical Singin’ in the Rain. “Rain … onstage … inside the auditorium.”

The “rain” Perry is referring to, as most movie buffs know, refers to the rain in the famous scene of the 1952 movie by the same name, starring Gene

Kelley, who sings and dances in the rain, twirling his umbrella.

“I’ve got a pump on stage that I’ve rigged up,” Perry said, smiling. “It’s all very intricate. We have practiced it. … It looks good.”

Perry said he chose this musical as the school’s spring production because everybody recognizes it.

“It’s as big as Beauty and the Beast, which we produced last year. I hope people will come to see this year’s production,” he said.

“The show, which is entirely student-led and -produced, has lots of singing and dancing, lots of big numbers,” said Perry, who is in his second year of teaching drama, speech, yearbook and stagecraft at Clinton High School. “There are many well-known songs — ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ ‘Good Morning,’ ‘Moses Supposes,’ ‘Fit as a Fiddle’ and ‘All I Do Is Dream of You,’ to name a few.

“Carol Gray-Hutto is helping us again as musical director.”

Perry said he has “a whole bunch of seniors” in the production, which is about Hollywood in the late 1920s, with actors, producers and directors caught in the transition from silent films to talkies.

Senior Josh Pryor plays the lead character, Don Lockwood, a popular silent-film star who is linked romantically with his leading lady, Lina Lamount, but in reality does not care for her.

“I’ve been involved in theater here at Clinton since I was in first grade,” Pryor said. “I played the Beast in last year’s musical.”

Pryor plans to attend Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and major in theater.

“I understand ASU is about to offer a degree in musical theater,” Pryor said. “I hope that happens.”

Senior Alyssa McKnight plays Lina Lamont, a star of silent films who cannot sing but insists that she can.

“I’ve been involved in theater since my freshman year,” she said. “I plan to go to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and major in mechanical engineering through the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. I plan to stay in the Air Force four or five years after college.

“I might continue theater in college, if I have time,” she said.

McKnight said Singin’ in the Rain is her mother’s favorite musical. McKnight’s mother is Rita Barnes, who is a teacher at Clinton Elementary School.

“I grew up watching the movie,” McKnight said. “Mom would always sing ‘Good Morning’ to me. I was excited when I heard we were going to do [the musical] this year.”

Senior Kylie Blanton plays Kathy Selden, a talented young actress who has not made it big yet and is asked to “voice over” Lina’s attempts to sing.

“I’ve been in and out of theater here at school since I appeared in Annie,”

Blanton said. “I had not heard of Singin’ in the Rain. I went out and bought the movie and studied it.”

Blanton plans to attend ASU and become a physical-therapy assistant.

Senior David Mendoza is appearing in his first lead role, playing the part of Roscoe

Dexter, the film director who works with Don and Lina.

“Last year, I had several small roles in Beauty and the Beast,” Mendoza said.

Senior Megan Hagerman is the stage manager and an artist who, along with sophomore Chloe Phillips, painted all of the sets for Singin’ in the Rain.

Hagerman plans to attend North Arkansas College in Harrison “to get my basics, and then the University of Central Arkansas to get a degree in art history and art education,”

she said.

Senior Juliana Parish has been in Clinton High School productions since she was in the first grade.

“My grandmother, Sallie Parish, directed the plays for many years,” Juliana Parish said.

She plans to attend North Arkansas College and enter its LPN to RN Bridge program, which enables licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses.

Parish plays Dora Bailey, the radio announcer who introduces the celebrities; she is also in the chorus of “Beautiful Girls,” “All I Do Is Dream of You” and “Broadway Melody.” She played Chip in last year’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

Other seniors appearing in Singin’ in the Rain are as follows:

• Regan McGaha appears as R.F. Simpson, a producer.

McGaha played Cogsworth, the clock, in Beauty and the Beast last year.

• Kasey Williams portrays Zelda, a B-list movie star and friend of Lina. Williams is also

in the chorus of “Beautiful Girls,” “All I Do Is Dream of You” and “Broadway Melody.”

• Libby Walsh plays a female teacher and is a special singer in “Broadway Melody.” She is also a member of the chorus of “Beautiful Girls” and “All I Do Is Dream of You.”

• Dakota Mooney has a lead singing part in “Beautiful Girls” and is in the chorus of “Broadway Melody.”

• Ryan Longshore is in the chorus of “Broadway Melody.”

• Cecil Nicholson is a sound engineer and in the chorus of “Broadway Melody.”

• Jake Trogden plays a director and is in the chorus of “Broadway Melody.”

• Alexis Black is in the chorus of “Beautiful Girls” and “Broadway Melody.”

• Stearling Gale plays the assistant 2 and is in the chorus of “All I Do Is Dream of You,” “Beautiful Girls” and “Broadway Melody.”

• Jentry Wade plays the part of assistant 3 and is in the chorus of “Broadway Melody.”

“I love my seniors,” Perry said. “I’ve been here for two years. I’m glad they let me come back so I could work with these seniors. There is so much talent here.”

Juniors appearing in Singin’ in the Rain include the following:

• Jared St. Clair appears as Rod, publicity manager and agent for the studio, and is in the chorus of “Broadway Melody.”

• Sam Pistole is a member of the “Broadway Melody” chorus.

• Martin Quintero is a member of the “Broadway Melody” chorus.

• Anna Knoerr sings in the chorus of “Beautiful Girls,” “All I Do Is Dream of You” and “Broadway Melody.”

Sophomores in the musical include the following:

• Joey Smith appears as the assistant 1 and is in the “Broadway Melody” chorus.

• Lee Miles portrays a male teacher and is in the “Broadway Melody” chorus.

• Summer Davidson, Caitlin Moudy and Hope Sykes are in the chorus of “All I Do Is Dream of You,” “Beautiful Girls” and “Broadway Melody.”

Freshmen with chorus parts are Taylor Rachel in “Beautiful Girls” and “Broadway Melody,” and AnaLei Horton in “All I Do Is Dream of You,” “Beautiful Girls” and “Broadway Melody.”

Eighth-grader Chase Blanton has a lead role in Singin’ in the Rain, that of Cosmo Brown, who is a longtime friend of Don Lockwood.

“He’s the comedic relief in the play,” Perry said. “Chase played LeFleur in Beauty and the Beast last year.”

Other eighth-graders appearing in the musical include the following:

• Garrison Robbins appears as young Don and is a chorus member of “Broadway Melody.”

• Joseph Strawn portrays young Cosmo and is in the “Broadway Melody” chorus.

• Ian Keith plays a police officer and is in the “Broadway Melody” chorus.

• Cade Williams is in the “Broadway Melody” chorus.

• Heather Hagerman sings in the chorus of “Beautiful Girls” and “Broadway Melody.”

• Kailee Bateman is in the chorus of “All I Do Is Dream of You,” “Beautiful Girls” and “Broadway Melody.”

Seventh-graders in the upcoming show include the following:

• Anna Belle Reece in the chorus of “All I Do Is Dream of You” and “Broadway Melody.”

• Natalie Zachary sings in the chorus of “All I Do Is Dream of You,” “Broadway Melody” and “Beautiful Girls.”

• Ashlyn Watson is in the “Broadway Melody” chorus.

Singin’ in the Rain is based on the screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, with songs by Nacio Herb and Arthur Free. The play will be presented locally through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

Curtain times are 7 p.m. April 21 and 5 p.m. April 22 in the Clinton Auditorium, 115 Joe Bowling Road in Clinton. Tickets, at $9 for adults and $5 for students and children, may be purchased at the door.

For more information, call (501) 745-2450.