Entertaining, Feast on This, Fun with Friends, School Events

High School Musical Cast Party

So I know you’re asking – how did a reluctant hostess get herself into this one?  It’s pretty simple, really.  I’m a mom!  One who enjoyed soooo much being part of my daughters’ lives.  It was my super social and outgoing oldest one who actually had faith in me, included me in the activities of her high school life, and allowed me to live vicariously through her that helped to bring me out of my shell.  She wasn’t embarrassed of me and because of her trust it was such an honor to support her activities.  So when she said the drama teacher was having a meeting for any parents that wanted to help with the upcoming play and backstage stuff, I jumped on the bandwagon with Tigger (that’s T … I … double guh … er) SpRiNgS.  If she thought I could do it, well, I’d suck up my insecurities and give it a whirl, because I sure didn’t want to let her down.

It was the worst winter night outside, blustery cold with arctic winds, roads covered in ice, and the sky aglow with snow-filled clouds.  I think all us parents had places we’d rather been that night, then the parent meeting.  Instead, we left behind crock pot dinners, sinks full of dirty dinner dishes, our favorite TV programs, and our cozy, toasty homes, and drove, cautiously, on ice-covered roads to the school for that can’t-miss meeting.

The very punctual drama teacher started right on the dot at 7PM.  He passed out papers and then took his place front and center.  Clearing his throat and grasping the mic, he began. <screech…tap, tap, tap> “Hello!  I’m Mr. Stedillie.  Thank you for coming out tonight.  I’ll get right to it. I need… (he went down the list, but I’ll skip to) …someone who would like to be in charge of the cast party following the final performance?  Anyone?  Anyone?  And dast it happened that I raised my hand.  Oh thank you Mrs. Hoffman, I’ll write you down.”

Like a natural idiot my hand went up and up and up.  I volunteered for everything that came down the pike — backstage parent –check; costumes –check; props –check; cast party –check.  I don’t know, as I said before, I guess I just wanted to impress my daughter, but there must have also been something in the quaint mustiness of that room.  Perhaps the props, or the scripts piled willy-nilly on the book shelf, or possibly something in the eclectic assortment of costumes hanging on racks emitted an intoxicating stimulant? Perchance it was the nostalgic posters hanging on the walls, or the personalized wall bricks autographed by student actors from all the plays gone by that wooed me?

Maybe it was the theatrical passion with which Mr. Stedillie’s delivered his speech that moved me?  Awe shucks, I’m really not sure; all I know is I got all caught up in the song and dance of the situation.  One thing is for sure, that guy is persuasive.  He really knows how to get parents involved.  He probably has some swamp land in Arizona I’d be interested in too.

I went home, got a good night’s sleep, woke the next morning, and was nibbling my corn flakes when it hit me…a full-fledged PANIC ATTACK!!!  What the <colorful expliative> have I done?  I swallowed hard, took a few deep breaths and began hyperventilating.  I think my legs gave out first.  My head started spinning.  My fingers tingled.  “OMGosh,” I muttered, in a fading and puny voice, as everything went black and my body smashed to the floor with a THUD!

An imaginary Police-Line-Do-Not-Cross ribbon fluttered in the breeze as my fainting corpse whizzed past it.  The dust from the chalk outline around my lifeless carcass flew up and settled back down by the concussion.

Okay, arrest the silliness.  Suffice it to say, I was outside of my comfort zone on this one for sure, but that’s par for the course for me.  I’m pretty much always outside my comfort zone.  It was time to pull on my big girl panties and git’r done.  Stop with this mamby-pamby cry baby stuff and get busy.


Cast Party #1

Bye Bye Birdie


Hollywood Cake (a sheet cake with the Hollywood Hills letters on it)

Sparkling Cider (or 7-Up or Ginger Ale) in champagne flutes

Forks, napkins, and plates (star plates would be extra neat)


Walk of Fame stars for each of the cast members, placed in a large square around the perimeter of the room, & later used as the spaces for the trivia game

Red carpet (for entrance) (use red paper that is used for bulletin boards)

Silver, Gold, and Black Balloon Bouquets

White balloons (with slips of paper with” forfeits” written on them hidden inside)

Black construction paper Oscar, Tony, and Emmy cut-outs

Movie posters (check with video rental stores and the movie theaters for freebies)

Disposable flash cameras (for a Paparazzi feel as the cast arrives)

CD of Hollywood Blockbuster theme music (for atmosphere)

Celebrity Magazines (Us, People, etc.) to put on each table


Elvis game is done Gong Show style:  Contestants with the best “routines” get to pick from the prize box, and those with the worst win a balloon with a forfeit inside that the loser must perform)

Slips of paper inside a balloon will tell them what they win (prize), or what they have to do next as a loser (forfeit).  Winning & loosing cast members must help each other break a balloon by pressing the balloon between their bodies until it breaks – no hands allowed).


Plastic metallic star sunglasses

Autograph book

Tickets to a movie

Coupons for local fast food selections


Finish your drink in five seconds

Kiss someone on the cheek

Do an impersonation

Make an Academy Award’s speech

Tell 5 best features about yourself, or a friend

Tell 5 worst features about yourself, or a friend

Run the next game

Dance a ballet

Act out a charade until someone guesses it

Hum a tune until someone guesses it

Help clean-up after the party

Elvis Impersonation Contest

The impersonator has to put on the outfit and step up to the karaoke microphone.  They can pick whatever “Elvis routine” they want. They need to do their best to sound like him, move like him, and say something Elvis would say (Thank you, thankyouverymuch), move like Elvis would move, or sing an Elvis song.  Audience votes on the best and worst routines with clapping and shouting or boo’s.  A majority of boo’s gets a GONG!

Can-I-Have-Your-Autograph Game

Each kid is fitted with a large, rectangular piece of stiff cardboard, attached to his or her writing hand with duct tape, like a shield.  They each get a sharpie marker to be used with their other (non-writing hand).  When the leader says, “go,” they scurry around collecting autographs from as many people as they can, also giving their autographs, before time is up.  Everyone has to try to write his or her name legibly.  These cards are souvenirs of the party.  Whoever collected the most legible signatures wins.

Name That Musical and Trivia Game

This game is done exactly like Trivial Pursuit, except in giant size.  The Cafeteria floor becomes the game board, the Walk of Fame Stars will be the spaces on the game board, and the kids themselves are the pawns that move on the game board.

Make a large die out of a square box.  (Fill the box completely full with wadded newspaper to give it strength. Tape it securely shut all the way around.  Paint it white, and when that has dried, paint on the black spots.)  Put a pylon every 10 stars or so all around the Walk of Fame, nine pylons all together.  Mark each pylon with the name of a musical; there’ll be three of each.   Group the pylons with the same musical together, in other words, three pylons in a row will be for one musical, then the next three going around the circle will be another musical, and the next three will be the last musical.  This way the kids have to navigate the entire circle to try to earn tokens.

Have everyone take their place on the stars, with socky feet only, so the stars don’t get damaged.  The leader of the game rolls the big dice and all the cast members move that many spaces (stars) going clockwise.  Whoever is standing next to a pylon is asked a trivia question (a different question for each person with the same musical).  If they get the answer right they earn a token.  There are three tokens: Blue, Red, and White (poker chips), one for each musical category.  The leader rolls the dice again.  Players move.  Anyone standing next to a pylon gets asked a trivia question.  Once again, if they get it right they get a token, BUT, they only earn a token if it is a category they haven’t earned a token for already. Continue until someone has one of each token.  Winner gets a prize and the game starts all over again from there.

Use a CD with top musical songs and find lists of trivia questions for Bye Bye Birdie, Kiss Me Kate, and Grease – the last three musicals that the school has done.


(rent a machine and music library)


Make a list of “gossip stories” ahead of time.  Try to dig up a little bit of “dirt” ahead of time on several of the kids in the play if you can, but nothing venomous.  If you have a lot of parents helping they will be able to come up with something on their own kid and his friends.  Or leave it impromptu by allowing someone to tell a “yarn” about someone in the group.  If you are concerned about appropriateness, have the story teller first tell to one of the adults who will make sure it is suitable, and then the adult will pass it on to the next kid.  Have the kids sit in a large circle wherever there is space in the room.  They in turn whisper the story into the next person’s ear beside them.  This continues around the circle for 60 seconds.  When TIME is called, whomever the gossip reached has to say out loud the story that they heard.  Then the original story is retold to compare accuracy.

We, the parents, left the evening fairly open to spontaneity as the kids were completely content to snack on the foods, sign each other’s programs from the play for souvenirs, and ham it up behind the Karaoke microphone for most of evening — very much self entertaining.  But we were armed to the teeth with activities if at any time it got slow and boring.  The party lasted until about 3 o’clock in the morning, at which time the parents and school staff began picking up and clearing the cafeteria.

Cast members got to take home their STARS and an Oscar look-a-like (small inexpensive trophies ordered from Oriental Trading Co.).

This was the cast party that broke me in.





Cast Party #2


I’m telling you…..  I had so much fun last year – don’t ya know – that I turned right around and signed up again the next year.  This time, my daughter had a lead role so I felt a sort of obligation to step up to a lead role also.  If she somehow found the courage, I felt I needed to as well.  This time I volunteered to be the head-chick-in charge of the party.  Yes, that’s right, the CHAIRPERSON!  Aren’t you proud of me?

Well, reserve your applause.  If not for some serious transforming work on the part of the Almighty I would not have had the gumption to speak up and volunteer or have the outrageous joy in my heart to motivate me through the long days and nights.  It was also the realization that this was the last opportunity I may ever have for such a thing, with my “drama queen” girl graduating and all.  Plus, I was a step ahead of the game on this one… I already had some experience under my belt with the last one, and a great awakening that these high school kids aren’t as intimidating as one would first imagine.  They’re a hoot, a lot of hoots in fact, and if you don’t show fear they won’t notice any, ’cause they are sort of self-absorbed themselves.  🙂

My plan (Schedule) for Oklahoma Cast Party:

After last curtain: Kids enter Cafeteria on a Paparazzi lined red carpet (Hollywood music playing large on a boom box or sound system), cameras flashing, and a guest book waiting to be signed by each cast member.

Walk of Fame stars leading the way from the Red Carpet to the food tables and around the room.

Food tables (heaped with delivery Pizza and all the backstage leftover’s, along with cake, and champagne flutes filled with sparkling cider)

Mock Academy Awards show – with trophies awarded

Autographs (everybody mingling and signing each other’s programs)


Party games set at various tables

Square Dancing Lesson and Contest (optional)

Trivia Game (just like I created for Bye, Bye, Birdie) (optional)

To do list:

Get a list of the Cast families from the drama teacher (need for party supplies purchases, etc.)

*Call for volunteers for party needs

Order the cake

Get a list of the Cast members from the director (need for the Walk-of-Fame Stars)

Get red paper (for the red carpet) from school office

Get 100 sheets of pink construction paper from school office (for the Walk-of-Fame Stars)

Get 100 sheets of black construction paper from school office (for Stars)

Check at school district office A/V Department to see if they have Oscar cut-outs – black construction paper – need 75, and if they will laminate the stars

Make Stars for the Walk of Fame – need stone spray paint, metallic markers

Get trivia questions for Bye Bye Birdie, Grease, Kiss Me Kate, and Oklahoma!  (These are available on the Internet website: Funtrivia.com.  Questions are only available online.  No printout.  So you’ll have to write down the questions as you take the quizzes yourself, and then write down the answers when you click to see how you did.

Follow up with volunteers on their purchases and promises to help

The morning before the final performance, count ballots and stuff Awards envelopes, and get gold, silver & black balloons and movies posters from video stores

The afternoon before the final performance pick up the cake; decorate the cafeteria, set up food tables, set up karaoke, bring a boom box, etc.

The night after the final performance help chaperone the CAST PARTY

*Call for volunteers for the following party needs:

_________      Make/buy the cake (75 servings) “Hollywood” sheet cake

_________      Bring four 2-litre bottles of 7-Up, or 5 bottles sparkling cider

_________      Bring four 2-litre bottles of 7-Up, or 5 bottles sparkling cider

_________      Bring four 2-litre bottles of 7-Up, or 5 bottles sparkling cider

_________      Bring four 2-litre bottles of 7-Up, or 5 bottles sparkling cider

_________      Buy 20 disposable champagne glasses

_________      Buy 20 disposable champagne glasses

_________      Buy 20 disposable champagne glasses

_________      Buy 20 disposable champagne glasses, plus a pkg. of 100 napkins

_________      Buy 40 disposable dessert plates (star shape preferred), & 75 forks

_________      Buy 40 disposable dessert plates (star shape preferred) & 10 markers

_________      Buy Latex balloons (1 dz. ea gold/silver/& black)

_________      Help set up and decorate the cafeteria Saturday afternoon

_________      Help tape down stars for the Walk of Fame Saturday morning

_________      Find and be in charge of the Karaoke machine

_________      Help manage the party, take pictures, serve cake, etc.

_________      Help manage the party, take pictures, serve champagne

_________      Buy 6 disposable cameras and come take pictures at party

_________      Help clean-up after the party

_________     Check with Wal-Mart, Party America, Dollar store, Party Animals, and other local businesses to see if they would be willing to donate supplies for our party

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Okay, so in the days and weeks while the kids rehearsed for the performance I tended to all the little jobs that needed to be done.

I picked up the construction paper and got to work on making ninety-five Walk-of-Fame stars.  These were going to look just like the real ones which decorate the sidewalks of Hollywood.  Black squares, pink stars, flecks of white and gray and black spattered on each.  The stars outlined with metallic gold marker and the squares outlined with metallic silver – the names in block letters centered in the stars.  A logo below each name so that people could tell by a glance if that person was an actor, an orchestra member, a stage hand, or a teacher.  When they were all put together I laminated them, and cut them apart.

I asked at every grocery store if they would be willing to donate sparkling cider.  I asked at the party store if they would donate champagne glasses, plates, and forks.

I asked at the bakery if they would donate a cake.

I went online and found some inexpensive star trophies and the drama teacher cut a check for them out of the ticket sales funds.

I contacted the parents that signed up to help me, and delegated jobs to all who were willing.  I put an agenda in the mail to each of them.

I sat in on dozens of rehearsals.

I made big dice cubes for one of the games.  I made the ballot box.  I picked up a Fact or Crap game.  I got the red paper for the red carpet.

Little by little I whittled away at the chores until opening night.  That was my night to work backstage.  And OMGosh, how much fun was that for me?  The luckiest ol’ gal on the block I was, for sure!!!

At the final curtain of opening night I passed out ballots to all the performers for the Awards show that would take place at the cast party.

The next night I collected them.  My husband and I came to watch the musical on Friday night where we sat beaming, pure enchantment chiseled across our faces.  It was the cast’s best performance of the weekend.  Encore, encore!

The day of the party I met with my committee to decorate the cafeteria.  I met with the kids in the cast to discuss the Mock Award Show and how that would go.  I tallied the votes.  I made a separate sheet for each category that showed who the presenters would be and attached the winner envelopes to them.  I showed up a few hours early to set up my background music in the cafeteria, be on site for the pizza delivery, and set up the food on the tables.  I brought out the chilled cider and starting pouring it into glasses.  As parents arrived I put cameras in their hands and sent them to play the part of the paparazzi as the kids entered the cafeteria from the auditorium.

The cast and crew entered the cafeteria to a Hollywood Blockbusters soundtrack playing larger than life on the boom box, down a red carpet lined with black, silver, and gold balloons, and signed their names in the guest book.

They wandered around and looked for their Walk of Fame stars, then headed over to the food tables to see what was offered there.  Most of them grabbed a glass of champagne and some cake and found somewhere to sit.  Once all the cast was crowded in, my “Academy Awards” actors took the stage and began acting out their routine.  Mr. Hill acted out his best Billy Crystal impersonation as the host and mostly insulted the audience with his sarcasm.  They all enjoyed it.  Two by two the stars came to the podium and announced each category and then asked for the envelope, please.  And Trophies were handed out.

The rest of the party played out just like it was supposed to, except I never was able to find a dance instructor so we ditched the square dancing idea.  We also ran out of time for the trivia game, well at least for it to be played like I had planned.  I did sit on the stage with the microphone and cards and posed questions to the last group of stragglers who were in it to the end.  And we giggled until the janitor booted us all out.

Those kids were an absolute blast.  I had the best time hanging out with them.  Mr. Stedillie, Gino – the janitor, and I were there until about 3:00 A.M. cleaning up.  Amazingly I wasn’t even tired.  All I could think about was how much fun I’d had, and all the compliments that I’d gotten from the kids and parents.  It was a very rewarding experience.

NOTE:  If you are contemplating volunteering to help with a High School Musical Cast Party and you are thinking my plan is way too much work.  Don’t worry.  You don’t have to go to a ton of effort making a theme out of it as I have done.  The kids are actually happy to just hang out, eat, sing karaoke, and play some party games.  Give it a try!

5. Cast Party OK Cast and Crew6. Cast Party OK Cast and Crew 2


BTW…some fun choices for party games (at that time) were:

Apples to Apples by Out-of-the-Box Publishing, Inc.

Curses by Play All Day Games, designer Brian Tinsman

Smarty Party by R& R Games, Inc.

Settlers of Catan by Mayfair Games, designer Klaus Teuber

Quelf by Wiggity Bang Games

Pit Deluxe by Winning Moves US

Time’s Up by R & R Games, Inc.

Ultimate Outburst Hersch & Company

Snorta! by Out-of-the-Box Publishing, Inc.



“…the morning STARS sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy!”  Job 38:7

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