As a high school basketball coach in Indiana, New Albany High School’s Jim Shannon knows all about pressure.

But no game — tournament or regular season — matches the feeling Shannon has when he walks out on stage.

“I’m nervous ... I have butterflies,” he said. “I really don’t get nervous coaching, because I have a lot more confidence coaching than I do acting.”

Shannon plays the basketball coach in “High School Musical,” which opened Thursday night in the New Albany High School theater. He is one of two adults in the musical. The other is Derby Dinner Playhouse regular Sandra Simpson.

Shannon said juggling time between basketball practice and rehearsal has been the most difficult task. He said he goes right from practice to rehearsal and his day doesn’t end until 10 p.m.

“Both are long ... around three hours each,” Shannon said. “We are in our first week of basketball. We are making cuts, figuring out our teams and two nights a week we run a youth league with 120 kids. Trying to juggle time between both has been difficult.”

Shannon said he has around 50 lines in the production. He admits to being a movie and theater buff, but never realized how difficult it was.

“It’s difficult acting, getting your timing and remembering your lines,” he said. “Especially when you don’t have any experience. But Dave Longest and all the people down there (theater) have been great to work with.”

Longest said one of the parts in the musical is a basketball coach, so who better to play that part than the school’s coach.

“I never thought for a minute he would accept,” Longest said. “I told him I had confidence in him. I know he has it in him.”

“Who knows ... coaching today and Hollywood tomorrow,” Shannon said, laughing.

Longest said he is excited about “High School Musical.” New Albany was one of a handful of schools picked nationally to perform Disney’s popular musical, which has just been adopted for stage. There were 15,000 schools who wanted to do the show this year, Longest said. Seven were picked.

“It’s such a big show and it really relates to kids. There will be kids here who have never attended one of our shows, because they know ‘High School Musical,’” Longest said.

Besides the two adults, there are 82 students in the musical and a crew of 22 in the technical squad. Longest estimates the show cost $90,000 to perform, but he is confident the school will make that up and more with ticket sales.

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