TUTS Sets Teen Cast for 'BRING IT ON'

Theatre Under The Stars' (TUTS) Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) presents the explosive, full teen production of Bring It On The Musical September 12-14 at The Hobby Center. Bitingly relevant, sprinkled with sass and inspired by the hit film, Bring It On The Musical takes the audience on a high-flying journey filled with the complexities of friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness. "I'm honored to have a chance to direct this high energy musical", says director Roshunda Jones. "This is the first time this production has been done in Houston with a full teen cast which is even more exciting! Bring It On is not only the story of two squads competing for the championship but it is a story of how two worlds come together. The story is relevant to people of all ages. It teaches us acceptance and how we can learn from one another. It is also a privilege to work with some of the most talented students in the Greater Houston Area - I am thrilled to come to rehearsal every day!"

Campbell, played by Houston native McKenna Marmolejo, is Buccaneer cheer-royalty at Truman High School, whose world gets turned upside down when she is forced to transfer to Jackson High at the beginning of her senior year. Marmolejo was recently seen in the HSMT summer production of Big, The Musical and on TUTS' main stage in Elf, The Musical. Playing the roles of Campbell's cheertastic besties, Skylar and Kylar, are Memorial High School sophomore Aiden Snasdell and Houston native Lauren McDonald.

Fellow Truman High School students include Buccaneer mascot, Bridget, played by Cypress Ranch senior Amber Grant, Eva, the seemingly naïve cheerleader played by Woodlands native Mallory Bechtel and Steven, Campbell's boyfriend and only male on the squad played by Pearland native Austin Ingalls.

Heading up the Jackson High School dance crew is the headstrong and hardworking Danielle, played by Houston native Gerrà Gistand. Gistand was recently seen in the HSMT production of Big, The Musical. Appearing as Nautica, a Jackson dance crew member, is Woodlands native Katja Yanko. Making his TUTS' debut as Jackson's mellow and friendly DJ, Randall, is Missouri City native Andy Flores. G.W. Carver senior Kedran Wade will appear as La Cienega, the fashionable and mouthy transgender student. Cameron and Twig, two Jackson students and hip-hop artists, are played by G.W. Carver senior Joshua Austin and HSPVA senior Fernell Hogan II.

Rounding out the rivaling cheer squads are Kristopher Adams, Jaela Amos, Alyssa Arizpe, Joseph Arriaga, Cole Bracey, Sydnie Brown, Chase Callahan, Bianca Canal, Darlesia Carter, Lucas Champagne, Kassidy Fajardo, Sydney Felton, Alextria Franklin, Raiya Goodman, Preston Granger, Hannah Keller, Dylan Lambert, London Lane, Sam Linda, Kelly Lomonte, Ashlyn Maddox, Miho Maeda, Alexa Magro, Paige Manning, Alyssa Marek, Savannah May, Grace Nardecchia, Haley Olds, Joi Pierre, India Sherman, Emmy Smith, Matthew Smith, Michelle Smith, Kerry Sullivan, Taylor Summers, Caiya Velasco and Mya Woodard.

Directing the TUTS' production of Bring It On The Musical is G.W. Carver theater director, Roshunda Jones. Jones serves as the Playworks Director and Student Leadership Co-Facilitator for Texas Thespians. She directed the Litefooter youth program at the Plaza Theatre for eleven years and has received a Proclamation from the City of Wharton. Her extensive list of directorial credits include Memphis, In the Heights, Color Purple, Porgy, Sweet Charity, The Wiz, Ruined, Aida, Aladdin Jr. and Fiddler on the Roof. Choreographing this dynamic dance and gymnastic production is the incredibly talented Shay Rodgers, a native Houstonian who is currently in her 27th year with Theatre Under The Stars. Rodgers not only serves as the Manager of Education for the Humphreys School, but has also choreographed several HSMT productions including Big The Musical, Xanadu, Legally Blonde The Musical, VOTE! A New Musical, The Who's Tommy, and 13. John Cornelius, II serves as Music Director and has been the music director/arranger/composer for a number of theatres including The Great Caruso, The Ensemble Theatre, Main Street Theatre and Theatre Under The Stars. He has worked with the Humphreys School as Music Director on the productions of Xanadu, VOTE! A New Musical, The Who's Tommy, 13 and as Co-Creator/Musical and Vocal Arranger for The Stephen Schwartz Project.

Uniting some of the freshest and funniest creative minds on Broadway, Bring It On features an original story by Tony Award winner Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (In The Heights), music by Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next To Normal), lyrics by Broadway lyricist Amanda Green (High Fidelity) and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Tickets (starting at only $24) are available online at TUTS.com/BringItOn, by phone at (713) 558-TUTS(8887), outside the Houston area at (888) 558-3882, or in person at the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office, located at 800 Bagby at Walker, Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Saturday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Special offers are available for groups of 10 or more by calling (713) 558-8888 or via email at groupsales@tuts.com.

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