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Tiger Arts Guild to pull curtain on ‘Disney’s Camp Rock’

The Demopolis High School Tiger Arts Guild will rock out in their spring musical “Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical” March 7-9 at 7 p.m. and March 10 at 2 p.m.

The musical, which combines the two Disney Channel Original Movies “Camp Rock” and “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam”, is a departure from the children’s story-centered productions that TAG has put on for the past several years, such as “The Little Mermaid” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

Director and DHS theater teacher Jody Tartt said she felt it was time for a change, and “Camp Rock” has been requested multiple times before.

“I thought it was very fun and upbeat, and when I heard the perusal script, I could hear our kids singing it,” she said.

The musical revolves around two music camps, the more down-to-earth Camp Rock and the new and glitzier Camp Star, and the tense rivalry that forms between them, culminating into a final, televised musical showdown.

While the costume and set designs were not as demanding as past performances, the musical brings new challenges — and new choreography — to the guild members. Past musicals have featured special dance numbers for three or four songs at most, but “Camp Rock” has intense, hip-hop heavy choreography for approximately 10 of the 17 songs performed during the musical.

“We have a lot more dancing in this show than we have had in the last five years,” Tartt said.

The show’s lighting presented another challenge. To match the high-stakes rivalry between Camp Rock and Camp Star and the amped-up musical numbers, Tartt said the lighting reflects that of a rock concert with bright lights, LEDs and special effects.

For Tartt, the musical’s overall themes of friendship and perseverance is extra touching with 14 members of the cast and crew being seniors working on “Camp Rock” as their last TAG performance.

“It’s been touching for me to watch them thinking about their last show together and how much fun they’re having with it,” she said.

“Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical” features the talents of Emma Hinson as Mitchie, Michael Soronen as Shane Gray, Jake Jacobs as Nate Gray, Thomas Easter as Jason Gray, Claudia Peppenhorst as Caitlyn, Sally Mackey as Tess, Maggie Bradley as Ella, Breanna Braxton as Peggy, Alyssa Martinez as Rosie, Eddie Coats as Barron James, Tucker Pearson as Sander, Walt Griffin as Andy Hosten, Austin Griffith as Brown Cesario, Tori Horne as Dana Turner, Trenton Gracie as Luke Williams, Ben Ogden as Axel Turner and Tamia Neal as Georgina Farlow.

Mary White, Abbey Polk, Mary Randall, Ashanti Bell, Ashley Bozeman and Tamia Neal are Camp Rockers and Keyerra Jones, Zoie Sewell, Rose Hall, Slater Brock, Chelsea Jackson, Skyla Warner, Essence Pearce and Zaniya Sewell are Star Campers.

The crew includes Bailey Hammond, Quan Allison and LeNiecia Redmond as stage managers, Henry White on sound, Sarah Margaret Veres on lights and Mary White on costume design. Jody Tartt is the director, Kelly Jacobs Smith is the choreographer and Madaline Ratcliffe Jacobs is the musical director.

Tickets for the musical are available for $8 at the door.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, March 6 issue of the Demopolis Times.)