History and economics teacher Michael Shepard auditioned for the student spring musical, The Little Mermaid, because of his two daughters, Elvy and Mhari.
“It’s my older daughter’s favorite Disney princess, and I thought it’d be nice to pop out and surprise her,” said Shepard.
Shepard says that a few of his senior students are in the musical, and thought what better way to send them off by being in their musical.
“I’ve had a lot of theatre background. In third grade, I was Prince Charming. I was very handsome, although the princess would not let me kiss her because apparently I was a hideous creature,” said Shepard.
Shepard has a lot of choir background, being in choir three out of four of his high school years.
Bailee Ciezki, senior, has had multiple roles in the musical ever since she was a freshman.
“In my freshman year, I was Joy, an evil step-sister to Cinderella. My sophomore year was Shrek and I had multiple roles, but mainly was Mama Shrek and Mama Bear. My junior year was Jekyll and Hyde, and I was Lucy (lead),” said Ciezki.
Ciezki finds the experience of auditioning with a teacher as a potential cast member unusual.
“I think Mr. Shepard would be a great Ursula. He’s a pretty dramatic guy. I think that he would fit in well with the students, and he also brings a certain sense of flare that he can portray and have the students follow suit,” said math teacher Jared Plaza. Plaza runs the Tiger Investment Club with Shepard.
The students involved have been preparing for their upcoming musical in March. The musical is open for all students, whether they are in choir or not. Their auditions started a week before Christmas break, and callbacks for lead and supporting roles were on December 19.
Video produced by Lois Whiteeagle and Sarah Guenther.