CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Education is the key to selecting a theatrical production to challenge and highlight a high school's performing arts students.
Capital High School's spring production of the Cole Porter musical "Anything Goes" first and foremost taught the 55 members of the cast - along with dozens of students working backstage and in the orchestra - a bit about the man who wrote its music.
"We like to do the older musicals for the educational value - people need to know who Cole Porter is," said Capital theater teacher Kris Corbett.
They also learned a bit about the culture of the times - the original production was done in 1938.
"For instance, with costuming issues - men don't wear their pants at the waist anymore," Corbett said. "What is an ascot? There's lots of education things going on."
"Anything Goes" takes place aboard an ocean liner traveling from New York to London. There's a stowaway and, of course, a love story and the classic song, "I Get a Kick out of You."
The production, which opens tonight at the school's theater, serves to highlight the progress and accomplishments of students in the fine arts program, whether it be singing, playing instruments, acting, dancing or even learning the technical side of producing a show.
It also is a collaboration among the teaching team in the school's fine arts department.
Corbett directs, but he's on the team of directors that includes choir teacher Kathleen Corbett - also his mother - and dance teacher Michelle Legg. Band director Bobby Jenks leads the orchestra.
"It's neat - you get three different opinions on things," Kris Corbett said. "You've got to be able to work together, and the three of us can."