‘Out of Towners’: Rochester High School’s spring musical highlights graduating seniors 


With nearly half of its theater students graduating this year, Rochester High School is using its spring production, “Out of Towners,” to highlight the drama program’s past productions. 

“It’s a musical within a musical, so it’s an opportunity for us to do some of my favorite production numbers from some of our shows past,” said playwright and costumer Elizabeth West. 

Written by Elizabeth West and directed by her husband, Rochester High School drama teacher Doug West, “Out of Towners” bears no relation to the 1970 comedy film of the same name. Rather, it’s an original script based on the 1950 musical film “Summer Stock” starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. 

“(The show is) a tale of a theatrical troupe who invades a small town farm for their rehearsal, much to the dismay of the farmer. But she gets swept up in the enthusiasm and soon finds herself falling for the director. What will her long-time fiancé think? What will his domineering mother think? What will the town think?” Elizabeth and Doug West said in an email to The Chronicle.

Past Rochester High School productions making cameos in “Out of Towners” include “Blondie,” “Rosie the Riveter,” “Button Your Bride” and “Cinderella.” 

The show will be the first Rochester High School production featuring a live orchestra, courtesy of the school’s band program. 

“It’s been really cool to see the band members and the theater members build relationships and stuff,” said student director and graduating senior Kyndra Gamez. “It’s difficult … but I think it’ll pay off.” 

The student orchestra is directed by Rochester High School band and choir director Kelsey Kosin.

Of the combined 34 students involved in the production, 14 are set to graduate this year: six from the 14-person orchestra and eight from the 20-person cast. 

“It’s a big graduation year,” Elizabeth West said, adding that this year’s graduation is hitting her particularly hard because the program is losing one senior, Daniela Damone, who has been involved in Rochester theater since she was 8 years old. 

“It’s going to be real hard for my husband and I to say goodbye to her — to all of our seniors, but her even more so, just because we’ve had her since she was itty-bitty,” Elizabeth West said. “But we’ve got a great group of freshmen that are coming up. We’ve got five new freshmen in the show.” 

“Out of Towners” runs May 17-18 at the high school, located at 19800 Carper Road Southwest in Rochester

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and military and $8 for students. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. showtime on both May 17 and May 18.

Follow Rochester High School Drama on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/roch.drama.

Cast list 

Jane Marley: Daniela Damone 

Joe Ross: Marshall Fields 

Orville Wingair: Christian Crossland 

Abigail Marley: Kyndra Gamez

Esme: Madi Beck 

Mrs. Wingait: Julie Danielson 

Sylvia Blake: Paige Mendez Baker 

Helen Keath: Maya Ashlee 

Becky: Hadley Hughes 

Patty: Coreyna Parris 

Denise/Mrs. Baker: Mylo Allman 

Jackie/Mrs. Cooper: Madison Maes 

Audrey/Mrs. Tucker: Arwen Schoolcraft 

Brenda: Elsa Freeberg 

Debbie/Mrs. Miller: Ammaree Langley 

Janet: Scarlett Minich 

Denise: Violet Wolfe 

Rick/Mr. Waller/Sheriff: Zane Sanford 

Artie/Mr. Perry: Malik Whearty 

Tommy: Corey Parris 


Musical director/arranger: Kelsey Kosin 

Flute: Mercy Hayden 

Clarinet: Sarah Price 

Bass clarinet: Saya McClain

Alto sax: Emma Phillips, Violet Wolfe 

Tenor sax: Grace Weddle 

Bari sax: Makaylah Milikan 

Trumpet: Naomi Hayden 

French horn: Hannah Johnson 

Trombone: Daniel Dugas 

Tuba: Conner Steen 

Percussion: Cash Edminster, Kyle Clarey 

Piano: Selah Newkirk 


Director: Doug West 

Assistant director: Kyndra Gamez 

Choreography: Kynda Gamez, Elsa Freeberg, Madi Beck, Madison Maes 

Sound: Matthew Deel 

Lights: Dayton Gamez 

Costumes: Elizabeth West 

Murals painter: Day Balcorta 

Set construction: Rochester High School stage tech class, Shawn and Megan Ashlee