Every year, the Nederland Middle/Senior High School Theatre Department presents the Fall Plays: four one-act plays that involve a large percent of the student body. The plays are usually humorous, thought provoking or reflections of life as seen by a teenager. Much work goes into these plays and the talented actors and experienced techies are rewarded only by the applause of an appreciative audience.
This year’s offering is a diverse mix of subject and character. Last Thursday night, Oct. 25, the cast of Saving the Greeks: One Tragedy at a Time by Joe Pizzarello went through the last reading with a script. Still in need of some prompting, the actors knew it was coming down to the wire time.
Saving the Greeks involves murder, incest, betrayal, tragedy and a group of people taking a look at what the classic characters could have done differently to live a better life. The speeches are complex and the students handle them with understanding.
This play is directed by students Aubrey Evans and Nora Curcio, who meet with the cast after rehearsal offering advice and sometimes praise.
“Don’t look at the people in the audience.”
“Good dancing, Andy.”
“Remember, no more scripts.”
“That was a great face when you’re blinding yourself.”
It’s the small things that actors do that can be distracting from a performance, but they usually disappear when the curtain opens and the play begins.
Saving the Greeks involves an ambitious plan to bring peace to Ancient Greece, Dialysis and Peon, to create a Betterland, a city where once-doomed tragic characters can start a better life. This new society of refugees must face enemies and Gods who don’t tolerate free will or utopian ideals.
Weaving the stories of ancient Creek characters from Oedipus to Hercules, this hilarious reinvention of classics poses the question, “Is it possible to escape you own fate?”
The plays take place on Friday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 10 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and include the annual talent show, an opportunity for individuals and groups to display their talents.
Just a High School Play by Eugene Perry will be presented on Friday only. A series of monologues and small cast scenes, the action takes place in a very small rural high school. A group of 17 members of the senior class speak about love, boredom, homework and each other in a moving, funny way. It is amazing how much of oneself may be found in the characters on stage.
NEXT! will be shown both nights. It is a one-act play for anyone who ever discovered that producing a play is not as easy as it looks. This one act depicts a bunch of college freshmen who are auditioning for a part in a play and an odder group of would-be actors you will never meet.
The last one act is also about the inner life of a play. All I Really Need to Know I learned by Being in a Bad Play was written by Werner Trieschmann. It is a puzzling, fast-moving account of a director who is more worried about roast beef than paying attention to the actions; to a crazy warm-up coach wanting everyone to be bacon; to the passive-aggressive stage manager who gives everyone grief.
Confused? Come to the NMSHS Fall Plays to have all your questions answered and all your cares whisked away by fine performances from the students in your homes and neighborhoods.