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High School Musical premieres with first full black cast

Gabrielle and Troy

It’s been a long wait! The cast have waited for seven weeks to know who will be named Troy and Gabrielle.  Their parents and guardians have held their breath long enough and ardent fans of the original High School Musical have eagerly waited till this moment.

On May 23, 2010, the team at Kidztrust announced that Theodora Odinenu will play the lead role of Gabrielle while Minjin Adewale Lawson has been cast as Troy.

The media unveil which held at Eko Hotel’s Abora Hall saw the dance coach Kaffy, Voice coach Stella Damasus, Director Tarilla Thompson and Acting Coach Emmanuel Ayalogu, as well as many celebrity guests in attendance.

This is the first time two black performers will be announced as Troy and Gabrielle.

High school musical, the 2006 Disney show, which had a global audience of kids and teens made known their intention to come to Nigeria in December 2009. KiDZ Trust is the exclusive Licence holder of the worldwide Disney hit production in Nigeria. Their sole aim, according to CEO of Kidz Trust Sheila Okonji Ashinze, is “To search for the first black Troy and Gabrielle as well as empower the Nigerian kid.”

To ensure a successful search for “Nigeria’s Troy and Gabriella”, the high school musical crew  recruited the services of  prolific choreographer Kaffy, acclaimed Nollywood director Tarilla Thompson and one of Nollywood’s most celebrated acts Stella Damasus to train the young men and women that eventually got cast for the show.

Sponsored by First Bank, Odinenu and Lawson are now to be taken to the United Kingdom, where they would embark  on a life changing theatre arts programme for a career journey in music, dance, theatre and the entertainment industry.


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