KHS fine arts students stage 'Scrooge' in song

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Kilgore High School fine arts students will help welcome the holiday season as they bring “Scrooge: The Musical” to the KHS stage.

The story follows the story of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with the cast including the well-known characters of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

“It is ‘A Christmas Carol,’ but with some exciting songs in it,” KHS theater arts teacher and “Scrooge” director Sally Perkins said.

More than just the theater students, this year’s musical will bring together choir, band and orchestra students as well. While Perkins serves as director of the show, choir director Krystal Kirkland is the production’s musical director.

“That’s been pretty cool to have this collaboration among our fine art department,” she said.

With the musical element, Perkins said, she and Kirkland are working with the students to help those who have never sung on stage before understand how to deliver their songs and harmonize with the other students on stage.

“Everybody’s able, you just have to be trained or you have to be taught how to sing,” Perkins said. “Everybody can sing.”

The KHS theater department has produced other musicals, but “Scrooge” is Perkins’ first musical to direct.

“I’m so thankful that I have Krystal Kirkland that’s the choir teacher to be here to help me with it,” Perkins said.

While it is fun, Perkins said, directing her first musical has been a learning process that requires patience and cooperation among the students and their teachers.

“Every rehearsal seems like it’s different and has different needs and different things that we have to do,” Perkins said.

It has been a learning process for some of the theater students also who may have never experienced working with music or a choir teacher.

KHS freshman Rachel Bowman, who plays Tiny Tim in the production, said she had some trouble at first understanding how to sing as a choir with the many different parts.

Due to some complication getting the music to Kilgore, the students began learning their lines first as they waited for the music to arrive.

“Only in the last two weeks have we really started music, and music is a big part, so I want them to listen to these songs constantly so they’re just stuck in their head,” Perkins said.

The next step will be bringing in orchestra and band students.

Many of the theater students had an easier time learning the lines instead of the music, Perkins said.

The challenge, Brandon Fugler, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge said, is memorizing so many songs along with his lines.

“But it’s very enjoyable. I love every second of it,” he said.

Fugler, though, is one of the students who previously acted in a KHS musical, including as the title role in “Aladdin.”

While some of the theater students are also choir students and understand how to incorporate music, others are new to the process.

As Ebenezer Scrooge, Fugler said he is able to express a lot of emotion and bring out a side of himself that was more

“I have never been social, so I get to express that part of myself with Scrooge toward the beginning of the play. By the end of it, I am very happy to be with other people, and that’s kind of what my journey through theater has been,” he said.

Braeland Williams, who plays the Ghost of Christmas Present and Jacob Marley, said “Scrooge” will be his first play, but has discovered theater is something he wants to pursue as a career.

“I’ve always been into this kind of stuff, I’ve just never been able to do it because I kind of have stage fright,” he said. Through the rehearsal process, he is learning to overcome that stage fright and learn what it takes to be an actor.

With a well-known plot, Fugler said, he hopes families will come to enjoy the show and just enjoy it with kids of all ages on stage and in the audience.

“It could teach people to be a better person. Most people have already seen the movie and they know basically to be nice to people, but when you come to see a play, you get a different kind of feeling,” Williams said.

Even though people know the story, this could be the first time they have seen it done in song, Bowman said.

Tickets will be available at the door or can be reserved by emailing Perkins at sperkins@kisd.org. Tickets will be $5 for adults, $3 for students with children two years old and younger free.

The play will have three shows: Dec. 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. All shows will take place in the KHS Auditorium.

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