The new NBC primetime show "Smash" follows the creation of a fictional Broadway musical, but the storyline about the victories and disappointments of people following their dreams is resonating -- even in Fort Worth.
Trimble Tech High School is one of 20 high schools across the country where students are building their school's musical theater programs with the help of NBC and its "Smash Make a Musical" project.
Cindy Ripley, of iTheatrics, said the students will get training from her company's regional representatives. She came from New York to lead the Tech kids through their first theater workshop of the season.
"They'll have some financial help. They'll get a free musical of their choice they will put on and be able to do this so that this school will have a sustainable musical theater program," she said.
The students plan to stage the musical "Schoolhouse Rock" in May.
"It feels like such a great opportunity and I'm just so grateful that, even though it's my senior year, I still got the chance to become a part of a musical," said student Nicole Walker.
Many high schools don't do musicals anymore. The idea behind the "Make a Musical" project is to give the schools the support to launch musical theater programs and keep them going.
Theater programs can build a young person's creativity, critical thinking, communication and confidence.
"Going through the exercises and the games, it really revealed a lot of hidden talents that I didn't even know that I had inside of me," said student Demarcus Tucker.
Teamwork and time management are part of it, too.
"It's really just about finding something about yourself in a good way and feeling really positive about it," Ripley said.
Last year, the Tech students produced the musical "Godspell." It was a noble first try, but this time, they want to take it to the next level.
"All the good publicity we've gotten so far has gotten us here," said student J'Lisa Thompson.