The Pollard brings it on in Guthrie

Pollard’s “Bring It On: The Musical” cast practices cheer routines. Photo by Joshua McGowen/Jared Blount.

by Rob Howard
Associate Editor

Take some of the best creative minds on Broadway - Jeff Whitty, who wrote Avenue Q; composer Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote Hamilton; composer Tom Kitt, who did the music for Next To Normal; and lyrics by Amanda Green who did High Fidelity – and what do you get? Bring It On: The Musical.

The Pollard Theatre is bringing this high energy song and dance musical to their stage June 9 through July 1. Timothy Stewart, the director of the production, says, “It’s all based in the world of high school cheerleading. It’s basically the story of Campbell, who is made head cheer leader of her school, Truman High School. She is unexpectedly transferred to Jackson High School, where they don’t even have a cheerleading squad.”

But they do have a dance crew. Campbell tries to turn the crew into a cheerleading squad because she wants to go to cheerleading Nationals competition.

Bitingly relevant, sprinkled with sass and inspired by the hit film, Bring It On: The Musical takes audiences on a high-flying journey filled with the complexities of friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness.

When you get two cheerleading squads and other cast members together, you have quite a group of actors. “We have 24 in the cast, 12 ensemble members, and 12 principals,” said Stewart. “We started rehearsing April 22.

“We’ve even had some ‘Cheer Camp’ rehearsals, getting our actors into cheerleading mode.”

Stewart says it’s a very young cast. “They need to portray high school students. They’re all strong singers, actors, dancers. We had open auditions in January and had quite a big turnout. It was a title of a show that they knew, it’s known in the community. The creative team is one whose material they want to do.”

The principal characters are Campbell (Emily Paige Cleek), Danielle (Madison Hamilton), Nautica (Ellie Valdez), Randall (Jared Blount), La Cienega (Maurice Simmons), Steven (Hagan Wano), Kylar (Hannah Finnegan), Eva (Laura Renfro), Twig (Aaron Stewart), Bridget (Phoebe Butts), Skylar (Jessica Higgs) and Cameron (Chris Shepard).

Todd Malicoate is the music director with an assist from Jerome Stevenson, The Pollard’s Artistic Director. Hui Cha Poos is in charge of choreography and Barbie Parket is the cheer choreographer.

This musical comedy is filled with action and music, and there are some dramatic plot twists as well, but Stewart didn’t go into detail, because he didn’t want to put out a spoiler. Directors usually have a favorite scene in a production they are in charge of, but Stewart says, “I really like them all. There’s not a weak scene in the play.” What else would you expect from a team like the creative minds that put the show together?

Bring It On: The Musical opens June 9 at The Pollard Theatre, 120 W. Harrison Ave., in Guthrie, Okla. It runs through July 1. Tickets are $30, with discounts for seniors, military, teachers and students. They are available online at, by phone at (405) 282-2800 and in person at the theatre’s box office, 120 W. Harrison.

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – June 1, 2017 @ 12:40 p.m.