Clifton Lusk performs in musical

Published 7:55 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Clifton Lusk is, by his own admission, a ham. In fact, he’s “a ham and a half.”

“My favorite thing in all the world is being on stage,” the Goshen High School 10th grader said. “Like I said, I’m a ham.”

And, what better place for a ham to be than on stage before an appreciative audience? That’s where Lusk will be this week as he makes his “big-stage” debut as a member of Southeast Alabama Community Theater’s production of Disney’s “High School Musical” that is being performed through Sunday at the Opera House in Dothan.

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Lusk won the role of Ripper, a skateboarder, and he is plenty pleased with the opportunity to be a member of the cast, which is made up of young people ranging from 15 years old to the mid-20s.

“There are only two older adults in the cast,” Lusk said. “One plays a drama teacher and, the other, a basketball coach. We’ve worked extremely hard getting ready, but we’ve had a lot of fun and I’ve met so many really great people. It’s helped me to know what I want to do in the future and that’s act.”

In the fall, a friend encouraged Lusk to audition for a part in the musical and he decided to give it a try.

“I thought, if I made it, that would be great and, if I didn’t, that would be okay, too,” Lusk said. “I don’t have a major speaking part but I’m in a lot of scenes, including the skateboard and basketball scenes and I’m in some really big singing and dance numbers.”

Prior to auditioning for the SEACT play, Lusk had only done some small church musicals and, before moving to Troy, he was in a couple of plays in Mississippi.

“I’d done competition dance in Mississippi so the dancing came easy for me,” he said.

“But I’d never had any vocal stuff and I’ve got a solo in one of the songs. I couldn’t sing it right but, after a singing lesson, I’ve finally gotten where I can sing it right.”

Lusk said he was anxious for the curtain to go up on the teenage musical.

“Rehearsals have been going off and on since November,” he said.

“In December, we started rehearsing two to three times a week and, in January, we hit the ground running. We rehearsed every night except Wednesday and Sunday and, this month, we’ve been rehearsing every night. So we’re all ready to go.”

Performances of “High School Musical” are at 7:30 p.m. nightly through Saturday with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are $20-$22 each and are on sale at the Dothan Civic Center box office.

Tickets may be purchased online at