Aladdin cast

The cast of Aladdin Jr. at Elba High School already is hard at work preparing for the 60-minute live musical performance they will bring to the community during a 2-night event on May 7th and 8th. The musical will be a fully student-led production. The performances will be open to the public with a small $5 charge. 

The magic of Disney is coming to Elba this spring as the Elba High School choral department plans to present its very first full musical – Disney’s Aladdin Jr. This 60-minute musical is based on the 1992 Academy Award®-winning film and 2014 hit Broadway show Aladdin. Elba High School’s presentation is made possible through a partnership with Disney and Musical Theatre International (MTI). “We’ve been doing choir here [at Elba High School] for about five years already, and our students competed the past couple of years at show choir events,” said Elba assistant principal and choral director Jason Tucker. “We wanted to do something different this year, and a lot of our students have shown an interest in musical theatre. Add in that we’ve got the students with the personalities for it – singing and dancing, and we just decided to go for it.” He said Elba has not done a live musical since he has been with the school system, and he said no one he has talked with remembers the school ever putting on a licensed musical. “This is going to be such a unique experience for our kids and the community as a whole,” Tucker said. “It will give everyone the experience of a live theatre presentation right here in our own community.” Tucker said as he began researching musicals, he just felt Aladdin would be a good fit for Elba. He said it just has a little something for everyone. The musical will be a full costume production with sound, lights and all that goes along with live theatre, and Tucker said the auditorium at Elba High School is a great place for such a performance. “I really am just excited to see our kids get this experience,” he said. “We are always looking for new things to offer our students, and this is a great opportunity that touches a lot of different students.” Tucker said one-third of the cast members for Aladdin were not current choir members this year, but he said the excitement over the live musical production has generated even more interest in this growing program for the school system. “We constantly are trying to provide as many possibilities as we can for our students,” he said. “We’ve already met a need that the student body had by bringing this production to the school.” Tucker said the entire program will be a student led production, from the cast to lighting and sound and stage crew. He said his biggest job is to just guide and direct the students as they rehearse and prepare to bring the production to the community in May. “This production really is for our community,” Tucker said. “We want to encourage our citizens to make plans now to come and see this live production of Aladdin Jr.” He said many times people think that a school-led program is only for the families of the students and others might stay away. That is definitely not the case with the show! “We definitely want the community to support this effort,” Tucker said. “We don’t get production companies bringing shows through Elba very often, and this will be a great opportunity for everyone in our community to enjoy a live musical production right here at home.” He added that it is appropriate for people of all ages, even young children. Tucker said the production is entitled Aladdin Jr. because it is only a one act 60-minute production with not intermission breaks, and that allows for small children to come and be engaged with the program and it not be too long for them. Elba High School’s presentation of Aladdin Jr. will be Thursday evening, May 7, and Friday evening, May 8, in the school auditorium. Tickets will be $5 each. Cast members include Chanler Coppage as Aladdin; Maggie Hammonds as Jasmine; Zhandria Siler as Genie; Jacob Brunson as Jafar; Liam Stuart as Sultan; May Morgan Lusk as Iago; along with Aladdin’s Friends [Babkak, Omar and Kassim] to be played by Alphonso Gillis, Izaiah Johnson and Victoria Zavala; and Jasmine’s Friends [Isir, Manal and Rajah] to be played by Mienundra Banks, Aja Reese and Amaia Vargas. The production’s ensemble [merchants, guards, dancers, etc] will be played by Kaden Grogg, Rebeckah Duncan, Appraisia Edwards, Brandon Epps, Lauren Haley, Anaiya Henderson, Freeda Hooks, Jasmine Magwood, Lynsey Manning, Callie Pope, and Jaden Wright. The crew members [sound, lighting, props, scene crew, etc] will consist of Whit Shehee, Isaac Watkins, Carson Wise and Paxton Wise. More information on how to purchase tickets will be made available as the play dates near, along with details on other ways the community can help support this Elba High School production of Aladdin Jr. For now, Tucker said he hopes everyone will go ahead and mark their calendars now for one of the two nights the play will be performed in May and bring the entire family out to enjoy it. “At Elba City Schools, one of our goals is to continuously expand opportunities for our students,” Tucker said. “This is an exciting way for us to do just that and it will deliver an entertaining outcome for all to enjoy. We are super excited to bring Aladdin Jr. to the Elba community this May!”

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