BLUE EARTH - The name of Blue Earth Area High School's fall play is "All Shook Up." Director Kurt Steinke says that's appropriate.
At Monday's dress rehearsal, Steinke was busy checking with his cast to see what day would be best to reschedule the second performance. Blue Earth Area has been juggling several events since the Bucs football team earned a berth in the state semifinals Saturday. In the end, it was decided to stage "All Shook Up" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. Friday in the high school theater. Tickets will be sold at the door: $6 for adults and $4 for children.
But even before the adjustment, just getting the play off the ground was a challenge, Steinke said.
Dennis (Zac Shure) sings a song with his crush Natalie (Kendall Surratt) during a scene for “All Shook Up,” which will be staged by Blue Earth Area High School students at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. Friday.
"It's kind of funny the show's called 'All Shook Up,'" he said. "We had issues at the beginning, so it's appropriate it ends with an unexpected twist.
"The role of Chad changed twice before we got our final decision. The one we wound up with (Jacob Johnson) worked out great," he said.
The role of Chad is key because he is one of the leads.
The story:?Natalie (Kendall Surratt) is a mechanic itching to get out of her sleepy little town in 1955. Mayor Matilda (Claire Loveall) keeps the townsfolk on a tight leash, with no loud music, tight pants or public necking.
When Chad blows into town on his motorcycle, he shakes up things, especially for Natalie, who falls in love with him, his motorcycle and his guitar playing. Chad, however, falls for Sandra (Emily Hynes), the museum lady.
To get Chad's attention, Natalie comes up with a plan to disguise herself as a guy named Ed to plant the idea in Chad's head that Natalie is the girl for him. But it's Sandra who falls for Ed and everyone soon becomes "All Shook Up."
It takes a lot to shake up Steinke, who is working with a relatively fresh cast.
"We have 10 speaking roles," he said. "Of those 10, I've really only worked with four of them before in a show."
Familiar faces are Loveall, Hynes, Korey Frandle (Jim), and Jake Berdt (Dean). Other cast members are Rowan Hacken (Sylvia), Cynthia Johnson (Lorraine), Zac Shure (Dennis) and Jarrett Torgerson (Earl).
"The top two roles - romantic interests - are played by two I've never had on stage before. They've been really good troopers," Steinke said. "I like to believe in the system that just because you've been in a show before it doesn't mean you get the top spot."
Another new person Steinke gets to work with is choir teacher Paul Johnson.
"He was actually involved with the play in his last place of employment," Steinke said. "What better way to ease him into the style of Blue Earth than do a show he's already done before."
Steinke likes the premise of the play.
"The 1950s was the first era about teenage rebellion," he said. "I wanted to do something besides the 'Oklahomas' and 'Hello Dollies.'"
Plus he wanted to rock out.
"It has electric guitars, [which] I've never worked with before," Steinke said. "When we heard the electric guitars it left grins on our faces."
Those of a certain generation will recognize the music and draw parallels to a certain charismatic singer who shook up a lot of people.
"I just want to state this is a play based off the music of Elvis Presley, but it's not about Elvis Presley," Steinke said.
The King's legend didn't throw the young cast.
"This generation I'm working with didn't live through Elvis," Steinke said. "I said 'Imagine you have Bieber Fever,' then they can relate to it."