ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – Ashwaubenon High School students are preparing to play ball. They’re performing the 1950s musical Damn Yankees!
This past year has thrown students and staff a few curveballs. Their school musical is normally in the fall, but this year it was pushed to spring. Staff decided to wait until the end of the school year to hold the musical in hopes of vaccines being more widely available. Ashwaubenon is also making history this year by holding its first-ever outdoor musical. The production will be at Ed Krcmar Field at Klipstine Park in Ashwaubenon.
“When we found out we were going to have a musical, but outside, we both were very excited, but also a little nervous at the same time,” says senior Evan Larson. Larson is playing 22-year-old Washington Senators fan Joe Hardy, who with the help of an unlikely acquaintance, gets the chance to play for the Senators.
Transforming a baseball diamond into a stage for a musical production was no easy task. The pit band and over 50 students used to performing in the school’s performing arts center quickly had to adjust to performing outside. Although their new performance venue brought its share of challenges with technical equipment and staging, students are looking forward to taking the audience on a trip back in time to Americana baseball.
“With the baseball field, the audience is kind of in the action at some points,” says Larson.
Seniors Evan Larson and Sam Calaway are looking forward to the audience witnessing an immersive, outdoor show. They say rehearsing for Damn Yankees! has been a one-of-a-kind experience.
“Being able to be in person with our friends and being able to rehearse with each other has given us that sense of normalcy that we’ve been missing,” says Larson.
“I’ve definitely grown up in theater, so having this be my last show is a very exciting experience, and challenging experience for us too, which I really am excited to take on,” says Calaway, who is playing Mr. Applegate.
“He is the devil. He’s very slimy, he’s very tricky, he tries to get everyone to do things his way even though that’s not always the right way,” says Calaway.
Ashwaubenon High School’s production of Damn Yankees! will open on May 28 at 6 pm and will run until June 5. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to watch the show. For more information on Damn Yankees!, click here.
Ashwaubenon High School is a member of the 2020-2021 Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program coordinated by the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.