Student Actors at Memorial High and Carver Magnet Unite for Memphis, the Musical

The combined Memorial High and Carver Magnet School cast of Memphis
The combined Memorial High and Carver Magnet School cast of Memphis
Photo by Jennifer H. Greer

He's a white DJ who has fallen in love with a black singer in an underground club. Making it even more interesting, they're in Memphis in the 1950s, where the outlook is not favorable for their relationship or her musical career.

It's Memphis, the Musical, an exuberant look at race relations in R&B clubs and radio stations amid a whole lot of catchy rock and roll and rhythm and blues songs with dancers hitting the boards hard.

Many high schools would have a problem staging it with its large cast calling for both African American and white actors.

But student actors from Memorial High in Spring Branch ISD and G.W. Carver Magnet in Aldine ISD and their advisers figured out a way around that. They combined forces so that in the weekend just after Labor Day, audiences can see them come together to perform the 2010 Tony award winner for best musical.

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They worked all summer building sets and running lines to get to this point.

According to Jenny Greer, vice president of the Memorial High Booster Club, "Half of the cast is from Carver and half is from Memorial. Carver is magnet school for applied technology, engineering and the arts. It is located in Acres Homes and is predominantly African American and Hispanic. Memorial is located in the Memorial Villages and is predominantly white. With one exception at each school, the Memorial students play roles that require white actors; the Carver students play roles that require African-American actors."

Also according to Greer, the joint effort was the brainchild of Carver Director Roshunda Jones and Memorial Director Nicole Morgan who work together on the Texas Thespian Festival every year.

Memphis, the Musical will be performed at the Memorial Hugh School Performing Arts Center, 935 Echo Lane, Houston, on Friday September 5 (school groups only), Saturday September 6 at 7 p.m. and Monday September 8 at 7 p.m. Call Nicole Morgan at 713-251-2535 for group discounts. $15.


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