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Local youth to shine in BAMtheatre of Hinsdale’s ‘High School Musical JR’

Hinsdale’s BAMtheatre will present “High School Musical JR” this August for its Youth Mainstage Production.

Performances begin at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 5 and 6; and at 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, at Christian Church of Clarendon Hills, 5750 Holmes Ave.

The show is directed by Claire Drews, with music direction by Peter J. Bromann, and choreography by Laura Savage. Tickets are available online at, and range from $23 to $26.

About the show

Disney channel’s hit movie musical will come to life on stage, a news release stated. In “Disney’s High School Musical JR,” it’s the first day after winter break at East High. The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes all find their cliques.

Basketball team captain and resident jock Troy discovers that the brainy Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. The couple cause an upheaval when they decide to audition for the high school musical. Although many students resent the threat posed to the “status quo,” Troy and Gabriella’s alliance might just open the door for others to shine as well.

The performers

The cast includes Juliana Filapek (Aurora); Richard Kluchenek (Burr Ridge); Meg McMillen, Mia Angeletti, Sofia Angeletti, Elisa Alsman, Kendall Forcash, Mackenzie Forcash, Giuliana Glitto, Libby Foster, Maya Krishnan, Conrad Sigmund, Olivia Tobolski, Abby Nordby (Clarendon Hills); Alexis Menapace, Sammy Menapace, Molly Dibble, Robby DeStefano, Emmett Upton, Sam Trani, Cecelia Nelson, Cait McCall, Evalyn Hose, Elsa Westover, Ashley Cotner, Ava Dickenscheidt, Dylan Myszynski, Eliana McCauley, Madalyn Carter, Samantha Rotta, (Downers Grove);

Blake Aramburu (Woodridge); Sara Held, Gavin Schmitz, Jocelyn Jeka, Sarina Ghouse, Allison Schaefer, Meredith Mikhail, Katelyn Kieninger, Rio Lewis, Anjana Yalamanchi, Charlotte O’Brien, Ella Robinson, Charlotte Olson, Ella Russell, Caroline Hurley, Greer Alesia, Meiyan Zhu, Mia LoDuca (Hinsdale); Elly Ahlm, Joanna Barcelona, Tommy King, Charlie Shanley, Daniel Nunez, Clare Byrne, Emma Byrne, Maeve Byrne, (La Grange); Autumn Lambke, Zara Ibrahim, Laila Malik, Maeve Rogers (Willowbrook); Layla Cummings, Alexandria Danley, (Naperville); Sydney Lesko, Julie Gedraitis, (Westmont); Jack Melie, Cannon Forsman, Ella Forsman, (Darien); Cooper Carlisle, (Plainfield); Giuliano Garcia, Aubrey Gowder, Charlotte Benbrook, Holly Akstins, Nicholas Sanchez, Peyton Smolarczyk (Chicago); Kailah Burns, Kylah Burns, (Matteson); and Sahana Raju, (Oakbrook).

About the production team

Director Claire Drews is an educator and director who has been working with BAMtheatre for over 10 years. She holds a degree in theatre and drama (minor in dance) from Indiana University, and a master’s in secondary education from National Louis University (English, theatre). At BAM, she has directed productions and been a teaching artist (Yes And!: An Intro to Improv, Creating a Character, A Study on Sondheim, and other subjects), stage manager, and creative team member. Drews is a proud graduate of the Second City Conservatory Program and the Downers Grove South speech team. She currently works as the drama program director at Glenbrook South High School, where she most recently directed the 2021 Glenbrook musical, “The Addams Family,” in addition to teaching broadcasting and English.

Music Director Peter J. Bromann uses his diverse musical background of classical voice and piano and musical theater to provide an exceptional educational experience, the release stated. When not curating his own Christian youth music eLearning YouTube show titled “Mr. Bromann’s Cabaret” (@mrbcabaret), he collaborates with many Chicago-based artists and organizations to lead musical theatre and audition workshops, and has been called in to accompany auditions for Broadway National Touring companies. Favorite creative positions include those with St. Isaac Jogues teaching K-8 music, Angels Sing Inc., SciTech Hands On Museum (Aurora), St. Barbara Parish (Brookfield), Fenwick High School (Oak Park), Theatre of Western Springs, Clarendon Hills Middle School, St. Mary of Gostyn, Lyons Township, and Natural Talent Productions (Arcada Theatre in St. Charles).

Choreographer Laura Savage is a Chicago-based musical theatre actress. She has performed in over 40 shows at various Chicago area theatres including Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Porchlight Theatre, and Goodman Theatre. Laura has been teaching dance to young adults for over 15 years, and has choreographed seven productions for BAMtheatre. (

About BAMtheatre

BAMtheatre was established to create opportunities for youth to receive professional musical theatre training and education, the release stated. Students go on to study theatre and music at leading educational institutions including NYU, University of Michigan, the Boston Conservatory and others. BAM notes it teaches performance and love of theatre in a fun, energetic and engaging manner. Summers are filled with programs suited for students of all ages. Through workshops, discussions and master classes, BAM performers receive training, and learn not only about performance, but every aspect of theater. For additional information, visit

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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