The University of Wyoming and Laramie High School theater programs are bringing a fun and fast paced musical to the stage February 11th through the 15th.

Due to the late start of the University of Wyoming’s spring semester, they realized there was not enough time to produce a full musical, thus the Pokes ‘n Plainsmen project was born.

“From the start the university wanted to do a concert with the high school but they had run out of time and had an empty play, so they asked for help from the high school,” Savannah Core said. Savannah is a sophomore at Laramie High School and is one of the select students that was invited into this production.

The university brought together pieces from well-known musicals and drama revue that centered around love and relationships.  While the directors had some say in what the whole focus was going to be, it was a student driven project.

“A lot of the college kids auditioned with the songs that they wanted to do then then the directors made the final say in what actually made it into the show,” Core said.

As you might guess one of the obstacles, they faced in doing this project was mixing high school and college students together because of maturity levels and the different levels of their performing abilities. Also getting thrown in a new production with two brand new directors and a very short deadline could have been a major challenge.

“In the beginning the college students were very closed off but once you did rehearsals with them every day and opened up to them, we built true relationships because we honestly weren’t that different,” Core said.

Working with two different directors and a professional choreographer along with Mr. Hancey is very different than anything the high school has ever done.

“It definitely changed the way the college viewed the high school and how the high school views the college, it definitely opened some major doors between everyone,” Core said.

“They brought in professional choreographers which is a lot different because at LHS all of the students do the choreography; at LHS we take a lot of time to do all of the parts of a production but the university has no time to waste so everything was very fast and we were constantly learning new things,” Core said.

Getting invited to be a part of a college production can throw many curve balls at a student but it can also teach  a lot of valuable lessons.

“I learned how to actually and continually follow through with what I am doing and what I am working on,” Core said.

“I also built many relationships with the directors and with many of the students and learned that past high school perusing musical theater is a real possibility and getting to watch and experience that first hand was very eye opening,” Core said.

The next chance to see the high school musical theater program is in the spring production of Pippen.