School play brings new challenges to students

Sara Gabriele/Staff Writer

Unlike the lighthearted comedy performed in the last two year’s plays, this year’s fall play production is set to be an intense and surprising performance.

The production will include two dramas: a one act entitled The Trap by Ed Monk and a three act called Desperate Hours by Joseph Hayes.
“I try to give every group of kids a drama [during their high school experience],” drama and English teacher Michelle Rathe said. “I chose these particular plays because I really wanted something real. Even though it’s a drama, it’s real in the sense that it could happen today.”

The one act, which will be performed first, spans about 20 minutes and tells the story of a soldier who accidentally leans against a rigged trap and activates a bomb. If he moves, the bomb will go off. The play consists of flashbacks into his life and glimpses into the future.

“It’s an unlikely situation, but you can identify with the soldier immediately. It’s very intense — really dramatic in a short amount of time — and a really intriguing story,” sophomore Dylan Martin said. “You have to keep up this pace of underlying intensity. You can’t just let it die, or it will just become this boring, melodramatic, plodding story.”

Immediately following the one act play is the three act play where, although the short time limit is taken away, the intensity and fast pace is still maintained.

A fairly well known play, Desperate Hours is about three convicts who break out of prison and hold a family hostage so they have a place to hide out before they can escape town. The play goes back and forth from the tense atmosphere of the house to the police station where a team of police officers is trying to track the convicts down.

“Both these plays show depth of characters; they show with human motives there’s always areas of gray. I think it’s massively more challenging for the actors. You have to be real, be evolving, or it doesn’t ring true on the stage,” Rathe said. “I think they’re [the audience] going to be pretty impressed that high school students can achieve this depth of acting.”

Junior Sarah Wallingford agreed. “The drastic changes from the actors into their characters is so surprising. In the last few years, a lot of the actors really matched their characters’ personalities, but in this play it’s really surprising. You’re going to see, say, Carter Allen or Brian Harris, and you’re just going to go, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s amazing.’”

With rehearsals every weekday since auditions, which were held the first and second weeks of school, the cast has been hard at work to meet the challenge.

“This is only the second drama I’ve ever done, so it’s a really neat opportunity. You have to put a lot of emotion in,” senior Carter Allen said. “You can’t just get an audience reaction from running into something or being goofy. You really have to work at it to get the audience to connect.”

The play will run on Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
Tickets will be $4 for K-12, and $5 for everyone else. Activity passes will be accepted.

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