By Christine Nguyen
On Friday, March 8, Oakland High performed its first musical in over 40 years in its own theater.
Like the preview show a week earlier, the home performance played to a packed house, and was loaded with loud laughter and frequent applause. On March 2, the cast and crew performed a preview of the musical at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center instead of their planned shows at the Oakland High theater because of the teacher strike.
Trevahn Srey, an ESA senior who played romantic lead Link Larkin in the show opposite Trinity Chau’s Tracy Turnblad, didn’t mind the date and location change.
“The OACC performance was amazing,” Srey said. “I’m not mad about the changes. The main event was also a slam, we made history at O-High.”
The show was directed by English teacher Chris Johnston. Music teacher David Byrd led musicians from the Oakland High band in providing live music.
Volunteer Kasondra Walsh provided choreography, and teacher Koleyna Kohler also volunteered her support.
Professional sound and lighting designers worked with students from the school’s Sound and Light crew to provide technical support for the show.
San Jose’s Independence High School is also putting on the musical Hairspray, and all money earned will go to funding their Drama department.
Oakland High does not have a Drama department, but there is Glee Club and Drama classes taught by Grace Bigler who is an SJR English teacher.