Late this summer, two new high school musicals will hit screen and stage. One is by Disney. It’s about country clubs. The other is by the Cappies Student Creative Team. It’s about high school.
"Senioritis" is a fresh and funny satire about all the many stresses of being a high school senior. College. First quarter grades. Parents. Relationships. Ambitions. Anxiety about “the meaning of it all.” The question whether to compete frantically, day after week after month — or take a breather and accept what fate dishes out. Therein lies the scourge of senioritis.
Two people claiming to be government experts claim to have a plan to cure senioritis and the students at Erma Schmoe High School become the unwitting subjects of a new test. With prodding from experimenters, a school counselor agrees to crack down on the senior class. When the seniors start suspecting that something squirrelly may be going on, they react by creating “Senioropolis,” a society of low-stress leisure, on the school football field. When the School Board threatens to shut them down, they decide to put on a senior musical, “High School Mythical,” with hilarious results. The students learn that life can be so weirdly random that they might as well just do what they love, love what they do, and let fate take it from there.
"Senioritis" is the work of a student creative team, representing Lake Braddock, Robinson, Seton, South Lakes, Stone Bridge, and T.C. Williams High Schools. It has 18 original songs, including “C’s and D’s are Very Good for You,” “Chillin’ Like a Villain,” and “High School Parent Blues.”
Mark your calendars: You can see "Senioritis" this summer at McLean High School (Aug. 4, 2 p.m.), the Kennedy Center Theater Lab (Aug. 5, 7 p.m. and Aug. 6, 2 p.m.). It will be performed by Cappie-winners from across the United States and Canada as part of Cappies International Theater.
This is the second year a student creative team has written a musical for Cappies International Theater. "Edit:Undo" is a musical comedy about teenage life in the Digital Age. When a School Board tries to stop a high school from going wireless, the students declare a technology strike, refusing to help all adults with any computer, cellphone, or other gadget problems. The story is full of comic situations about teenagers and their tech toys and adults who are clueless about these things.
"Edit:Undo" was written by a student creative team representing Flint Hill, George Mason, Marshall, Robinson, St. Stevens & St. Agnes, Winston Churchill, and W.T. Woodson High Schools. The musical has 16 songs, including “Falling in Like,” “Save the Children,” and the world’s first IM-lingo song, “OMG-LOL.”
The very good news is: in the weeks ahead, you’ll have numerous chances to see "Edit:Undo," as performed last August at the Kennedy Center. In March, Cox Cable Channel 21 (Red Apple TV) will broadcast "Edit:Undo" 11 times: March 17, 18, 20, and 31 at 10 a.m.; March 15, 16, and 25 at 2:30 p.m.; and March 12, 14, 23, and 28 at 7 p.m. We are very grateful to Red Apple TV for enabling this outstanding new musical to reach a wider audience.
We’re very proud of the hard work, dedication, and skill of these two student creative teams. Here’s our “high school musical” challenge: See Disney’s. See "Edit:Undo." Then do it again, this summer, with Disney’s sequel … and "Senioritis." Which are the better, fresher, funnier musicals? Or, to quote an on-line blogger, “Disney, you’re gonna let high school writers show you up???”
William Strauss is the co-founder of the Cappies. He is also co-founder and director of the Capitol Steps, playwright of three musicals and two plays, and author of ten books, most recently “Millennials and the Pop Culture” (with Neil Howe).