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Bye Bye Birdie hits the stage on Friday!
Bye Bye Birdie
The Fennimore High School drama department will present “Bye Bye Birdie” on Nov. 8 and 9.
The stage musical is inspired by the phenomenon of Elvis Presley getting his draft notice into the army in the late 1950’s.
In the case of “Bye Bye Birdie,” teen idol Conrad Birdie (portrayed by Trent Klais) is also drafted into the army and his production team decides to put on one last big bang performance before he departs.
“They plan one last kiss for a lucky fan on the Ed Sullivan Show,” Director Tonia Schildgen shares. “For Kim MacAfee, (played by Madalyn Glassbrenner) who’s just been pinned to her boyfriend Hugo Peabody, this creates some drama in her life.”
The Fennimore Drama Department saw a banner year for male actors again this season, leading to the decision to host Bye Bye Birdie this season. “Mrs. (Lisa) Evans and I try hard to cast with the talent we have,” Schildgen said. “Once again this year, we had a lot of boys and we thought this would be a fun performance.”
The cast this year is comprised entirely of high schoolers, 35 students in the cast and choir as well as with several supporting roles behind the scenes.
“We have quite a bit of students working behind the scenes,” Schildgen said. “We have students working on set and scenery with Tracy Henkel, two students on spot lights and two on regular lights, one student working with Jerry Copus on sound, a student working the curtain, and several playing music in the pit orchestra.”
The cast and crew also seems to have enjoyed this year’s performance.
“It’s been going very well,” Schildgen said of the practices. “They’ve all been working very hard and seem to enjoy the music and learning the little dances. They’ve (the students) have been a joy to work with and it’s going really good!”
Schildgen encourages everyone to get out and grab their pre-sale tickets for “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Fennimore High School office.
“Ticket pre-sale started Oct. 30 and will run until 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 8,” Schildgen shared. “Pre-sale are $5 for adults and $4 for kids. At the door they will be $7 and $5, so you save a little money but you also won’t need to wait in line for admission.”

 Show times for both nights will be 7 p.m. in the Fennimore High School Gymnasium.