New beginnings, complicated love take spotlight in theater production, “All Shook Up”


Camila Flores

The Coppell High School theater department performs “All Shook Up” on Oct.26 in the Coppell High School auditorium. Guests can attend the musical on Nov 3-4.

Shravya Mahesh, Staff Writer

 “I can’t help falling in love with you.”


This is not only one of rock and roll legend Elvis Presley’s most famous songs, but also a central theme of Coppell High School’s theater production, “All Shook Up”.


On Friday, the CHS theater department opened the first show of the musical. The production tells the tale of a small town in the 1950s, two best friends and a roustabout who changes everything the town has ever known.


Dennis (junior Drew Scrivner) is madly in love with his best friend Natalie (senior Avery Schultz), yet she is oblivious to this fact. Enter Chad (senior Barrett Engler), the motorcycle riding, leather jacket wearing, hip-shaking charmer all the girls in town, especially Natalie, immediately fall for. Yet Chad’s sights are set on the museum owner, Sandra (senior Grayson McGovern), who is repulsed by him.


The love triangles do not stop there, as much of the town falls for one another, oblivious to the fact that someone else has their sights set on them. As the show goes on, the plot gets more and more complex and twisty, leaving audiences wondering how the confusion will be sorted out and who will finally be with one another.


While the musical is mostly a comedy, the story discreetly tackles an issue of the time – interracial relationships. While this does not take a significant role in the play, one subplot about 16-year old Lorraine (sophomore Mya Green) and mayor’s son Dean (junior Alex McCord) centers around this tribulation in their relationship.


The acting and dialogue were interspersed with Elvis Presley’s hits, each song placed so that the lyrics correlate with the plotline. Certain songs came to signify something more, like “One Night With You”, which would play when a character falls for another. He/she’d see the subject of his/her affections and suddenly everyone else would freeze in place,  the character bursting into song as the spotlight affixes on them.


Other than such lighting changes, the tech team and stage crew had to make quick changes to the set in between scenes, shuffling around as soon as the stage went dark to change signs, place props, and get the right actors on stage. Backstage, the costume, makeup and hair crew  rushed to reapply makeup or change out the actors’ costumes.


Yet this is not remotely representative of the hours of work put into the show beforehand by these behind the scenes stars. Headed by lead technical director Leslie Thomas, students learned to adjust sound, project images onto the screen, make and paint props (with the aid of CHS’s National Art Honor Society club), and much more.


“It’s like any other job that takes a lot of hours.” Thomas said. “All the students have put in [an] enormous amount of time.”


“All Shook Up” also happens to be CHS’s theater director Karen Ruth’s first production at the high school. Especially since judges from two local competitions will be sitting in on the show, there is much new for the teacher.


“It’s a learning experience for all of us to see what they’re looking for and see what they like. We can grow and learn from that.” Ruth said.


Yet in her short time at the high school so far, Ruth manages to put on a great show and inspire her students.


“Ms. Ruth is an amazing breath of fresh air,” theater booster club president Shelby McGill said. “She has high energy, she brings that energy everywhere she goes. The kids adore her and they learn so much from her.”


Through all the effort and time put into the production, the end result has turned to be something audiences, cast and crew members and supporters alike are excited for and proud of.

“I just think overall, putting all the hard work in, I think this was a really good show,” Schultz said.


Camila Flores
Coppell High School sophomores Mya Green (Lorraine) and Alex McCord (Dean) in All Shook Up on Oct. 26 in the Coppell High School auditorium.Guest can attend the musical on Nov. 3- 4.
Camila Flores
Coppell High School senior Avery Schultz is starring in All Shook Up as Natalie Haller on Otc. Oct. 26 in the Coppell High School auditorium. Guest can attend the musical on Nov. 3- 4.