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Performers from five different schools combine for musical

Westminster's Chris Horn, left, playing Pinocchio, and Anastasia Hanchak, right, playing Queen Ferocia, perform in a dress rehearsal of "Over the Moon" at Winters Mill High School in Westminster Wednesday.
Westminster's Chris Horn, left, playing Pinocchio, and Anastasia Hanchak, right, playing Queen Ferocia, perform in a dress rehearsal of "Over the Moon" at Winters Mill High School in Westminster Wednesday. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO , Carroll County Times)

North Carroll High School drama teacher Roberta Gore looked down at her watch.

It was 7:04 p.m. The dress rehearsal she was overseeing was four minutes late in starting. She urged her students to get into their places.

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Time is short in a hectic, performance-filled spring.

Despite a tight schedule, high school actors from five different schools will combine to perform the musical "Over the Moon" at 7:30 tonight and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Winters Mill High School in Westminster.

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The zany comedy features nearly two dozen famous fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters searching for love and meaning, often in silly situations.

Everyone from the "Jack and the Beanstalk" Giant (North Carroll's Grant Foreman) to Cinderella (Westminster High's Sarah Snead) to an Evil Queen (Westminster's Anastasia Hanchak) are in the production.

The giant, who towers over the rest of the cast, searches for companionship and finds it with Felicity (Winters Mill's Amber Waltz), a woman with masculine qualities.

Proceeds for this show will assist in the funding of Drama Fest, an annual gathering of county high school theater departments. This year, Drama Fest is April 27 at Carroll Community College in Westminster.

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The actors have been squeezing in rehearsals for "Over the Moon" this year in between productions at their own schools. Once this show wraps, students will focus completely on their upcoming spring school productions.

This weekend, Westminster High senior Chris Horn will perform as a lying Pinocchio. Then he'll continue prepping for Westminster High's performances of "Legally Blonde: The Musical" April 26-28.

Juggling two shows at once is a challenge, he said, but one he welcomes, even when Pinocchio is shoved around, and off, the stage by Queen Ferocia (Westminster High's Anastasia Hanchek).

"It's actually a lot of fun," he said after taking several scripted spills, including one off the stage.

The cast features talented performers from Francis Scott Key, North Carroll, Manchester Valley, Westminster and Winters Mill high schools.

"Over the Moon" gives the students a chance to work with actors who share their same passion for theater, Westminster High School drama club adviser Melissa Purdy said.

It's also a change of pace from sharing the stage at their high schools.

"They act with the same kids over and over and over again," Purdy said. "And I think it's good for them to be on stage with others."

Instructors said students were taking part in their second theater rehearsal Wednesday night. Once microphones were put in position and costumes were on, the final run-through began.

"Let's get started," Gore said before the rehearsal, "otherwise, we'll never get this done."

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