Acting to impact

Four spring plays allow for social messages and school appreciation

Alyssa Magrone, Copy Editor/A&E Editor

From “Rent” to “In the Heights” to the annual Shorts, the theater department continues to up the game by adding four main productions to the spring lineup. According to theater students, this creates opportunities for students and appreciation for the arts department.

The plays include two senior exhibitions, “The Boys Next Door” and “Little Women,” along with “Steel Magnolias” and “Dearly Departed.”

Senior Keegan Colter, who plays Barry in “The Boys Next Door,” thinks that there is something for everyone when dealing with the content and genre of the shows and believes that a viewer can take away life lessons from each show.

“They have more choices to choose what show they want to see. We have a great variety of shows,” Colter said. “We have comedies and dramas and it should be good for you because as we’re acting there are life influences on characters that can help with other people in real life.”

Junior Anna Braman, who plays Nadine in “Dearly Departed,” describes it as a humorous play paired with a serious plotline, creating a dynamic that will appeal to both teens and adults.

“It’s a family funeral gone wrong, everything that you can imagine happens,” Braman said. “It’s humor that parents will laugh at because of the stress, but there’s a lot of teen humor in there too.”

Sophomore Trenton Kauzlarich, who plays Norval in “Dearly Departed,” believes the message audience members should leave with a positive outlook on hard situations.

“I want them to take away the message that family is important and that things like death bring a family together,” Kauzlarich said.

“Steel Magnolias” is a play with a vastly different plotline. Junior Kennedi Walker, who plays Truvy, explains the play is set in a hair salon.

“All the girls are middle aged, they’re all really close, it’s a small town, very country, very southern,” Walker said.

Walker uses one of the character’s lines to sum up what she thinks captures the theme of the show and adds a call to action.

“One of the characters [Shelby] has diabetes and it’s really bad, there are lots of heart wrenching monologues,” Walker said. “‘I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing.’ says Shelby, talking about how she wants to have a kid but she can’t because she has diabetes. Live your life like it’s your last day living.”

Senior Maegan Foster is a student in the theater four class and has an inside view of both senior exhibitions, which rehearse during the Theater four block. Foster describes the “Boys Next Door” as a heartfelt show about people with differences.

“[The] Boys Next Door is an adorable show,” Foster said. “It’s [about] these men that live and work together and are struggling with mental and physical disabilities.”

Colter wants viewers to step awaywith feelings of tolerance and acceptance for those with disabilities.

“For ‘[The] Boys Next Door’, no matter who you are, if you have a disability or not, don’t judge,” Colter said. “We should not judge people because they’re different.”

Foster plays Jo in “Little Women,” adapted from the literary classic by Louisa May Alcott.

“Little Women is about the March sisters and their family and just how they go through some really hard times but they focus on their relationships and supporting each other,” Foster said. “It’s about family and being there. It’s a really beautiful classic that we don’t see very often in high school.”

Not only do students think the individual productions will impact the community, they believe the increased collection of plays will create change by allowing a chance for everyone interested to participate.

“I think it’s great for the department as a whole because there’s a lot of opportunities to get out there and do stuff,” Foster said. “Some seniors can’t do a show because you’re busy at that time. This year, you can at least be a part of something in at least some way.”

Senior Taylor Smith, student director of “[The]Boys Next Door” and “Steel Magnolias,” agrees with Foster, and has taken advantage of the multiple opportunities for her last year.

“This year, we’ve had a lot more shows than we usually do,” Smith said. “I definitely get more experience with acting and as student director. I haven’t student directed before, so I get both sides of the spectrum. So I get to see the student directing side and the acting side and being in a musical. And in ‘ In The Heights’ I was a dancer so I got to be in the chorus in that, in ‘Rent,’ I got to be a lead, so I really got all sides of the spectrum.”

The increase of productions is not the only element that plays into to the morale of theater students. According to Foster, the senior exhibitions allows seniors a unique experience of community and chance to leave a legacy.

“The senior exhibition, is for a lot of people, their last hurrah, their last moment, what they want to be known for,” Foster said. “It’s different because it’s our last hurrah together.”

Foster believes that the increase of productions creates an appreciation for the theater department as a whole.

“It’s good to show the student body that we are capable of more than just what you would normally think of as a high school show,” Foster said. “I’m hoping it will encourage them to be more interested in the different departments we have. Every department in this school is very important and does really great things you should just take the time acknowledge it.”

“Dearly Departed” was performed on April 6-8. Following is: “The Boy’s Next Door” on April 11 and 13, “Little Women” on April 12 and 14 and “Steel Magnolias” closing the Spring Season on April 27 and 28. All shows will take place in the Little Theater at 7:00 with a five dollar admission fee.