Monday , 18 June 2018

Big Musical Productions Take the Stage at McKinney High Schools

McKinney ISD offers a cornucopia of theatrical sights and sounds in November as McKinney Boyd High School presents Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” and McKinney North High School brings “The Sound of Music” to the stage. Boasting elaborate settings, outstanding production values and exceptional performances, these are not your average school plays.

Friday, Nov. 11, was opening night for the “The Phantom of the Opera,” and Boyd Theatre Director Vicki Kirkley has undertaken one of the largest, most complex shows a high school can produce. The musical involves more than 150 students, over 200 costumes and contributions from all areas of the school’s fine arts department. Guest artist Dr. Janice LaPointe-Crump has been enlisted to direct dance choreography, and music direction is provided by guest artist Dr. John Norine. From a production standpoint, the musical presents a number of challenges — fight choreography, elaborate lighting, complicated sets, and an enormous chandelier. But, after 10 weeks and countless hours of rigorous preparation and rehearsals, McKinney Boyd was ready for the lights.

“It has been an amazing challenge, but the students have risen to that challenge and the show will be spectacular!” says Kirkley.

McKinney Boyd will perform “Phantom of the Opera” at the Boyd High School Auditorium on November 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. and November 13 at 2 p.m.  The school will host a Gala Night event for the Saturday, November 12 show that offers reserved seating, a silent auction and a reception with the cast after the performance. Advance tickets are available through the McKinney ISD Fine Arts website at Admission is $10 for students, $15 for adults and $25 for the Gala Night show.

McKinney North High School’s production of “The Sound of Music” is an equally elaborate, collaborative effort of the entire McKinney North Fine Arts Department. With over 80 students involved, the musical showcases performances from dance and choir students and features a full student orchestra. Like the Boyd production, a show of this size requires a tremendous commitment of time and effort.

“We held auditions the first week of school and have been in rehearsals ever since,” says Jami Sauls, Director of Theatre at McKinney North. Students have invested scores of hours in preparing every aspect of the production, from the action onstage to sets and lighting.

“Everything came from the students,” says Sauls. “They are serving as the crew for the show. I am very excited about this production. These amazing students have progressed tremendously in a short time and have created an incredible show. I am so proud of the McKinney North High School Fine Arts Department.”

The McKinney North performances of “The Sound of Music” can be seen on November 17, 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. in the McKinney North High School Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for students and $12 for adults and can be purchased at the box office beginning at 6 p.m. on show days. For more information, visit

The McKinney High School Theatre Department, under the direction of Denise Tooch, began rehearsals for their stage production of the musical “Finian’s Rainbow” on October 25 in preparation for shows on January 19, 20 and 21. Tooch describes the musical as “a whimsical, magical, but still contemporary fable-with-a-conscience.” The performance will boast a cast of 40 high school students and 8 elementary students and will feature a live orchestra. More details will be released as the show dates approach.


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