Over the weekend, the Black Box Theatre at the Riverbank High campus was turned into two magical places: Xanadu and Mount Olympus.
The musical Xanadu JR was staged by the RHS Drama Department, and, at the Saturday matinee performance, were supported by a guest appearance by District Superintendent Christine Facella, who took on the role of Zeus, played that day as ‘queen’ of the Greek gods on Mount Olympus.
The musical, written as a ‘junior’ version of the 2007 stage play and 1980 film, portrays the ups and downs of the love lives of Kira, portrayed by Yumalai Duran, and Sonny, by Chase Gianelli. The evening performances were staged on Friday and Saturday nights, while Saturday and Sunday featured matinees.
The cast included 18 students, in addition to Facella and a huge crew of students. It was co-directed by Zachary Brown and John Thiel.
Officials note that the RHS Drama Program “features academic, pre-professional elective classes in Drama and Stagecraft,” along with “extra-curricular performances through the Drama Club.”
This was one of two productions the department stages during the school year, along with showcases of student scene work, playwriting and design.
“Students train as both performers and designers through experiences that cultivate artistic growth, critical thinking, self-expression, and collaborative and leadership skills,” the school noted.