Carmel High School Presents

Writer // Janelle Morrison        Photography // Laura Arick

Coming to the Dale E. Graham Auditorium this May, Carmel High School Performing Arts Department presents its spring musical, “Bring It On: The Musical.” Inspired by the movie and Broadway musical, it will feature CHS’ very own talented cast, crew and orchestra (a company of over 80) led by Director Sam Chenoweth.

“Bring it On: The Musical” will transport the audience to a high school filled with friendship, jealousy and betrayal. In this story, the cutthroat world of competitive cheerleading collides with the complexities of high school politics and romance. “Bring It On” features an original story by Tony Award winner Jeff Whitty and music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composers Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green. It was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2013.

Sophomore Jack Ducat made his theatrical debut as “Sebastian” in last year’s CHS production of “The Little Mermaid: The Musical.” Ducat is playing “Randall,” a DJ who’s all about living life in the moment.

“I love the musical, ‘Bring It On,’” Ducat said. “I don’t think many high schools get a chance to do modernshows a lot, and this one is about high schoolers and life in high school, which is something we [the cast] can relate to. My character ‘Randall’ becomes attracted to the main character, ‘Campbell,’ who is a cheerleader who gets transferred from Truman High School to Jackson High School where he goes to school.”

“Bring It On: The Musical”
CHS lead cast of “Bring it On”.

Playing “Campbell” is CHS senior Jessy Voris who has participated in Carmel choirs all four years and has been a member of the Ambassadors since her sophomore year. Voris was a member of the CHS cast in “The Phantom of the Opera” and “The Little Mermaid.”

“‘Campbell’ is the head cheerleader, which is really special to me because I was a cheerleader my freshman and sophomore years,” Voris said. “I relate to ‘Campbell’ because she is a hard worker and is passionate about what she does. I’m passionate about musical theater and singing, and she’s committed to everything she does, so I respect her character in that sense. This is my third musical, and I’ve learned a lot about working hard for one particular goal and outcome. We’ve all learned to work as a team and about the value of working in a [theater] community and being with friends.”

Junior Natalie Hammond was in Accents last year and is in Ambassadors this year. She was also in “The Phantom of the Opera” and “The Little Mermaid.”

“My character, ‘Eva,’ is the mean girl sophomore that is super sweet at first, but given the opportunity, she takes her shots,” Hammond said. “She backstabs everyone and is very mean. I’ve played the ‘mean’ role in previous shows, so it’s not that challenging, but I am not really mean in person! The most challenging part of this role is the song because there are a lot of key changes and drastic changes throughout the song where I have to go from super sweet and cute to mean and angry really fast. Overall, the role is really fun to play.”

Senior Jenna MacNulty performed the fun-loving character “Flounder” in “The Little Mermaid” last year and is playing “Bridget” in this year’s musical. MacNulty was in Accents prior to being in Ambassadors and is heavily involved in the school’s other theater productions.

“My character, ‘Bridget’ is kind of an outcast and is the ‘weird’ girl,” MacNulty said. “She gets transferred from Truman to Jackson High School with ‘Campbell,’ and they become unlikely friends. ‘Bridget’ is kind of goofy, so I’m excited to be the comic relief in a sense, and I feel that it’s a fun and challenging character. She deals with self-confidence issues, and my song is about being comfortable in your own skin, so I’m excited to bring that to the stage and share that life lesson with the audience.”

Obviously proud of his students’ success and dedication to the program, Chenoweth wanted to bring them a different experience this year, which led to the decision that this year’s musical would be something more modern.

“We wanted something as different as you can get from ‘The Little Mermaid,’” Chenoweth said. “It has also been a while since CHS has presented something ‘current,’ so we wanted to do something more modern and relatable than under the sea creatures. The challenge last year was working with the wheels, and this year’s challenge is the cheer stunts. The kids are getting their hours in of ‘Comprehensive Cheer 101’ by one of our school’s cheer coaches.”

Chenoweth concluded, “It’s going to be a great show for teen and adult audiences. It’s a really fun soundtrack, and we’re bringing in a whole new sound system for this show. It’s going to be a massive tech spectacle!”

Don’t miss “Bring It On: The Musical” in four performances from Thursday, May 9 through Saturday, May 11 at the Dale E. Graham Auditorium at CHS.

Tickets range from $12-$25 and are available online at ticketracker.com or at the CHS bookstore. For group rates or more information, call Carol Outland at CHS Performing Arts Department at 317-846-7721, ext. 7085.

“Bring It On: The Musical”