The sound of dribbling basketballs echoing through the hallways of Williston High School is usually a sign of winter, and it usually happens in the gym.

But this weekend, the distinctive noise signifies spring, and it’s happening in the theater.

Williston High School’s production of “High School Musical” runs Friday through Sunday. The show, which tells the story of a star basketball player and a transfer student who try out for the school play and the chaos that ensues, is the first time WHS music teacher Eric Rooke is directing a spring musical.

It’s also probably the newest show he’s directed for the school.

But he had been talking about doing a spring musical for a while, and students had been begging to put on “High School Musical” for years.

“It took off,” he said.

Days before the curtain was set to go up on the first performance, the actors went through dress rehearsal, correcting minor mistakes and perfecting their characters.

“It’s been a blast,” Rooke said.

A spring musical is a new idea, and at 12 weeks of rehearsal, is a lot of work. But the show has been able to bring in seven or eight new students to the school’s drama program, whether in acting or behind-the-scenes tech.

When the process started, Rooke had no idea who would even audition, let alone who might be right for which role. That’s unusual, but he found four strong leads — three seniors and a sophomore. The semi-lead roles are filled out with students from all four years, including three freshmen.

In all, there are more than 40 students in the cast and a dozen on so on the technical side.

“This group of kids has been so hard working and dedicated,” Rooke said of the cast and crew. “It’s been awesome.”


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