Windermere High School theater students will perform “Kiss Me Kate” April 26 to 28.
Join Windermere High School theater students as they perform the school’s first spring musical with their production of “Kiss Me Kate” from April 26 to 28.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. April 26 to 28 and 2 p.m. April 28 at the Windermere High School Performing Arts Center, 5523 Winter Garden-Vineland Road, Windermere. Tickets cost $10 for general admission or $15 for premium admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at teachtix.com/whs.
“Kiss Me Kate” tells the tale of Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi — who are divorced — as they work on a production of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.”
“It’s a comic version of ‘Taming of the Shrew’ — it’s done very tongue-in-cheek,” WHS music theater and chorus teacher Linda Boot said. “We have extremely talented students and a great parent support team and a supportive community who really wanted to see us end the year with a big production with lots of singing and dancing and characters and big sets and all that stuff. … There’s a lot of on- and- off-stage antics.”
The production showcases the hard work and dedication of the WHS theater students as they only had about a month to put it all together, said Jonathan Jackson, a co-sponsor for the school’s theater department and technical director the school’s production of “Kiss Me Kate.”
“This production (had) a short timeline,” Jackson said. “It’s a big show with a big cast, and trying to get it all up off the ground with everything else going on — testing, and (other) things that these students are doing — it’s sort of adding one more thing to their plate. But it’s exciting to see them really, really power through.”
Boot added that because Windermere High is a new school, the lack of resources also posed a challenge.
“We don’t have a large prop closet,” Boot said. “We don’t have costumes. We don’t even have building supplies and stuff. ... We’ve had to make do with what we have, and it’s extra challenging to get everything you need to put on a production.”
Junior Sam Marzella, 17, will play the role of Fred Graham.
“He’s the leading baritone, which fits my style of singing and acting,” Marzella said. “He is egotistical, but he has no reason to be. … He’s a jerk, but he’s not always trying to be.”
Junior Ashley Lambros, 17, will portray Lilli Vanessi. Unlike Marzella — who relates to his character — Lambros said hers is counter to her nature.
“Lilli Vanessi is like the exact opposite of me,” Lambros said. “I’m very outgoing and kind — I hope — to everyone. And Lilli is kind of — you know — not. It’s interesting to see where we relate and where we don’t.”
Lambros added this will the first time she has ever been cast in a leading female role throughout her experience taking theater classes in middle school and high school. The day the cast list came out, Lambros could not hide her excitement — even while at Epcot.
“I was so nervous the whole time because I didn’t know if I was going to get it or not,” Lambros said. “There’s a point where you get used to being turned down and not getting it. I was at Epcot (when) the cast list came out and then when I found out (I got the role), I literally screamed in the middle of Epcot, and I grabbed my mom, and I hugged her.”
Brooklyn Schwetje, 16, is a junior and dance captain for the production. She also is part of the ensemble for the show and assisted with the choreography.
“I learned everyone’s dances — even if I’m not in them,” Schwetje said. “We’ve been working on the dance numbers for about three weeks. … It’s a lot of fun.”