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Woodson’s Jacob Nelson Is Starring in Musical

Student has lead role in “High School Musical 2 Jr.”

Woodson High junior Jacob Nelson has the lead role of Troy Bolton in CentreStage Community Theatre’s production of “High School Musical 2 Jr.”

Show times are Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 12, 13 and 14, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m., at Centreville Presbyterian Church, 15450 Lee Highway in Centreville. Tickets are $12 at www.centrevillepres.com.

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(From left) Drew Sharpe, Amanda Holsinger, Hana Tawil and Jacob Nelson rehearse a scene from “High School Musical 2 Jr.”

The 60-person cast and crew have been rehearsing since May, and the actors hail from 10 different schools. Director Rachel Harrington said things are going really well and it should be a great show.

“The kids are having lots of fun and the production team is enjoying working with them,” she said. “Everyone’s very talented, and that’s why it’s such a terrific cast—they each bring something different to the table. There’s also a five-person pit orchestra.”

“It’s a family show and a really nice way to cap off the summer,” continued Harrington. “It’s colorful, fabulous and entertaining and is great for all ages. And one of the coolest things is the community the children have created onstage and off.”

She said the theater company is also trying to do more community service, so it’s collecting canned goods at the show to donate to a local food bank.

As Troy, Nelson portrays the popular high school jock. “In the first ‘High School Musical’ movie and play, he’s introduced to musical theater,” said Nelson. “It’s now the following summer and he’s struggling between choosing which friends to be with and following his dreams. He’s a well-liked and nice guy, and is trying to do the right thing, but he has inner turmoil.”

Thrilled to have this role, Nelson said, “It’s my first lead and I enjoy taking it my direction. Troy’s an average, friendly teen and an expressive, confident character. And it’s fun interacting with the other characters, portraying different emotions and showing Troy’s growth as a person.”

Nelson’s favorite song is the opening number, “What Time is It?” because “it’s super high energy as the students start their summer break.” As for the audience, he said, “They’ll be able to connect with the various characters, and the plot has many sides and is really intricate, so they’ll be able to see it from a variety of different perspectives.”