‘Big Fish’ set to open Thursday

Yukon High School students will open their “larger than life” spring musical Thursday evening.
Big Fish will run at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Yukon Fine Arts Center, located at 850 Yukon Ave.
Tickets are $12 online or $14 at the door for adults, $10 online or $12 at the door for senior citizens and students, and free to children ages six and younger.
Big Fish tells the story of a father, “Will Bloom,” telling different fantastical stories while trying to tell his son, “Edward Bloom,” who he really is.
“But the son is really angry that the father won’t just come out and say or tell him who he is,” said Darin Chapin, producer of Big Fish and choir director for YHS. “One of the things that is so unique about this show is the fact that it has tons of fantasy elements to it—all the dream sequences or stories are all told with this kind of fantasy-feel to them with witches and giants and everything. It interplays and intermixes this fantasy world with this really important, real, direct relationship between a father and son. So while it’s about a relationship between a father and son, we have all these other cool, fantastic elements that are incredibly entertaining as you’re moving through the show.”
Will Bloom is played by Ryan Hernandez and Edward Bloom is double casted by Jordan Harris and Josh Jack.
Other cast members include:
—Curtis Diaz as “Karl,”
—Jacob Diaz as “Young Will,”
—Joey Nell as “Amos,”
—Nash Scott as “Don Price,”
—Hunter Williams as “Zacky Price,”
—Crystal Thomas and Kylie Deeds double casted as “Sandra,”
—Rachel Lasley as “Josephine,”
—Devyn Willey and Savannah Gordon double casted as “Jenny Hill,”
—Payton Dougherty as “Witch,”
—Cooper Fanning as “Doctor Bennett,”
—Aidan Ramsey as “Red Fang,”
—Alex Holland as “Ashton Mayor,”
—Crystal Thomas, Kylie Deeds, Rachel Diaz and Brianna McGill as the “Alabama Lambs,”
—Sam Anderson as “Fisherman,” and
—Guy Mitchell, who is not a YHS student but the speech, debate and drama teacher at YHS, as “TV Narrator.”
“They’re all super talented,” Crystal Thomas said.
Thomas said the cast are all close friends, which makes it much easier than when the cast doesn’t all know one another.
“My freshman year, we weren’t all friends and I didn’t know everyone’s names so it was really hard to interact with everyone,” Thomas said. “But this year, we’re all like a family.”
YHS students also fill the ensemble, orchestra, crew, costume crew, stage manager, design assistant, producer’s assistant and assistant stage managers positions.
While the musical is being produced by Darin Chapin, other YHS staff are helping make the musical what it is.
Megan Poarch is the stage director, Derek Chapin is the music director, Darnell Zook is the orchestra director, Wes McAtee is the technical director and Tony Travis does the production design.
Although staff members manage the show, they show their students how to do the technical or design side of the show.
“So everything you see on students is done and executed by students, which is cool,” Darin said.
The only non-faculty member working on the show is choreographer Elizabeth Dragoo.
“She’s an outstanding choreographer in this part of the state. She’s been our choreographer for the last four shows and there’s nobody on the planet that’s better than she is. She’s phenomenal,” Darin said.
Darin said one cool thing about Big Fish is that it’s not only choir students, but is a collaboration between choir, drama and band.
There are 57 cast members in the musical, but a total of 129 people working on the production.
The musical is an extra-curricular activity the students are choosing to do that they don’t get credit for. All of the rehearsals are outside of school and on their own time.
Big Fish is Crystal Thomas’s fourth show at YHS and is Josh Jack’s third show there.
“It’s amazing. It’s so much fun and you make so many friends,” Thomas said.
“And the memories,” Jack added.
“I look forward to this all year. This is why I’m here,” Thomas said in regards to being a senior in the spring musical. “This is my favorite part of high school.”
Thomas plays “Sandra,” which she said she loves being able to play the mom because she’s called “the choir mom” in classes.
“I get to be what I am every day in real life I guess,” she said.
Jack said he likes playing “Edward” because he’s not a boring character, but he’s very slapstick.
“Being able to go into these different scenarios in his mind and act each one out is really cool,” he said.
Thomas and Jack play Sandra and Edward on Saturday night.
Thomas said people should come see Big Fish because they’ve worked “really, really, really” hard and it’s “really good with a good story.”
“It’s different than any other musical you’re going to go to see and different than any other one I’ve ever seen. There’s two completely different story lines that are just kind of being told together and they just converge at the very end instead of converging in the middle. It’s just really interesting the way it’s put together,” Darin said.

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