Drayton Entertainment Youth Academy Announces Cast and Crew of Inaugural High School Musical Production
January 30, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – After multiple interviews, auditions and callbacks, the Drayton Entertainment Youth Academy is proud to announce the remarkable cast of talented youth assembled for its inaugural High School musical, both on and off stage. The beloved musical Legally Blonde will be on stage at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from February 15 to 26, starring 50 high school students from the Waterloo Region.
A fabulously fun musical based on the adored movie, Legally Blonde: The Musical follows trailblazer Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Action-packed and exploding with memorable songs and dynamic dances, this musical is so much fun it should be illegal!
This exciting new High School Musical Production Program allows students across the Waterloo Region to learn valuable life skills gained by participating in a fully-staged Drayton Entertainment Youth Academy Production.
The award-winning not-for-profit theatre company has been steadily growing its training offerings for young performers over the past several years, including launching its new, state-of-the-art training hub, the Drayton Entertainment Youth Academy. Its mission is to provide performing and technical arts training opportunities anchored in the Drayton Entertainment brand of live theatre excellence, facilitated by professional industry mentors. The program is designed to cultivate community, incite leadership, ignite imagination, and boost confidence in a socially aware, inclusive environment.
The High School Musical Production Program will offer 100% barrier-free access, including financial, emotional, and physical, to unite students from different backgrounds, identities, cultures, abilities and interests, completely free of charge. Drayton Entertainment is committed to diverse, inclusive casting without regard to disability, ethnocultural identity or gender.
Associate Artistic Director David Connolly will direct and choreograph. Connolly’s impressive résumé includes numerous Drayton Entertainment productions including Mamma Mia!, Kinky Boots, Annie, Hairspray, Disney’s Newsies, and the popular family pantos Wizard of Oz, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Cinderella.
“Arts education enhances creative problem-solving, strengthens critical thinking and communication skills, and helps to develop confidence, collaboration, perseverance, focus, and more,” says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. “We know there are not enough opportunities for young people interested in theatre to develop and practice their skills, so we are excited to offer this unique opportunity for students to work together to put on a show guided by professional mentors. There is a wealth of young talent in this area, and we feel it is our responsibility to help nurture the artists and leaders of tomorrow.”
Evlyn O’Toole from St. Michael Catholic Secondary School is Elle Woods.
Mitchell Cruickshank from Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute is Emmett.
Sevile Schryer from Eastwood Collegiate Institute is Vivienne.
James Wright from Eastwood Collegiate Institute is Callahan.
MacKenna Van Massenhoven from Strathroy District Collegiate Institute is Paulette.
Rounding out this exceptional youth cast are Addi Butchart from Eastwood Collegiate Institute as Brooke Wyndham, Lainey Schyven from Eastwood Collegiate Institute as Serena, Joyce Sun from Eastwood Collegiate Institute as Margot, and EmmaLea Thomas from STEAM Academy as Pilar.
Students from across the region will be backstage in all departments including lighting, sound, the running crew, stage management, wardrobe, and the band, along with the respective Drayton Entertainment Department Heads.
The following is a complete list of cast and crew involved in creating the inaugural High School Musical Project: Legally Blonde: The Musical.
Bluevale Collegiate Institute
Eastwood Collegiate Institute
Caleigh De Vito
Forest Heights Collegiate Institute
Emma Van Dijk
Grand River Collegiate Institute
Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute
Resurrection Catholic Secondary School
Rockway Mennonite Collegiate
Ariba Imran Idrees
St Benedict Catholic Secondary School
St Davids Catholic Secondary School
Strathroy District Collegiate Institute
Mackenna Van Massenhoven
Waterloo Collegiate Institute
St. Michael Catholic Secondary School
Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute
Waterloo Oxford District Secondary School
The inaugural Drayton Entertainment High School Musical Production is on stage from February 15 to 26 at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse.
The major sponsor of this initiative is Brad Carr of West Montrose, in honour of his high school drama teacher, Mr. Gord Davis (Elmira District Secondary School). Additional support is generously provided by TD Bank, and the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. The Season Sponsor of all Drayton Entertainment Youth Academy Programs is Heffner Group of Companies.
Tickets are $40 for adults, $30 for youth under 20, and $35 for groups of 20 or more. HST is applicable to all ticket prices. Tickets may be purchased by calling toll free at 1-855-drayton (372-9866), or online at https://www.draytonentertainment.com/.
For more information, please contact:
Samareh Jones, Marketing and Development Associate
(519) 621-5511 ext. 256