SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Sara Zinzilieta's smooth, strong voice helped win her the lead in her high school production of ``The Lass That Loved a Sailor.''

Being a lass who was cast as the sailor lost her the role _ and stirred up an off-stage drama that ended with the play's cancellation.

The Gilbert and Sullivan musical, more commonly known as ``H.M.S. Pinafore,'' was set to sail when administrators overruled director Doug Hahn's decision to cast Zinzilieta as the male lead.

Hahn quit after a boy got the role, and officials canceled the play.

``It was pretty awful because I had tried out for the role and gotten it, and then it was taken away from me because I'm female,'' said Zinzilieta, a 17-year-old senior. ``There's no love scenes. There's not even a hug.''

Zinzilieta, who has a tenor voice, said she was confused when the cast list showed her in a major female role _ one that called for a soprano. Later, she learned that Hahn's list had been changed.

Springfield High School Principal Bill Scheffler did not returned repeated calls Tuesday from The Associated Press, but had said he would not discuss his reasons for the cast list change.

At a school board meeting Monday, some parents worried that keeping a girl in the male lead would send a ``mixed message'' to students.

Others appealed for the play to go on with the original cast. But the board said administrators have the authority to make decisions on school activities and had broken no rules.

On Tuesday, Scheffler announced that ``West Side Story'' would replace ``H.M.S. Pinafore'' as the spring musical.

Zinzilieta said she would boycott the production.

Hahn said he cast Zinzilieta because she had the best voice. He noted that five other girls were cast as male sailors in the show with no hint of controversy.

``There would be no Shakespeare if we didn't have men and women playing different roles,'' Hahn said.