Fall plays witty, ironic

Barbara Lawlor – Fall plays witty, ironicNederland

Last Thursday, after most of the students had left the campus, Nederland Middle/Senior High School theater students rehearsed their parts in the NMSHS Fall Plays. While the actors practiced their parts in Halloween costumes, director Liz Evans climbed tall ladders to adjust the spotlights, and the sound people made sure the voices sounded right.

At that point, they had one week left to polish their parts, to say their lines over and over again so they no longer had to struggle with them and could focus on their performance.

Each fall the theater department puts on four or five one-act plays that include a large cast of Introduction to Theater students. This year’s play is “The Art of Rejection,” which will be shown on Friday, November 8 only. It is a chance for students to get up on stage and perform, sometimes for the first time—kind of like sticking one’s toe into the pool to see how warm it is.

If a student likes being in the spotlight, he or she can move on, taking on other plays, even the spring musical.

The theater class play features R, the only letter in a sea of numbers. R is always picked last for kickball, never part of the “in”; crowd, never gets the girl. What is a letter to do to get through life? This one-act is an avant-garde look at the price of popularity.

Cast of “The Art of Rejection,” directed by Elizabeth Evans: Jacob Aguilar, TJ Bolt, Sam Churches, Amber Glasby, Abigail Coffman, Amanda Cook, Emily Curcio, Lilian Haffey, Morgan Noel, Zoey Payne-Grauch, Tyler Pelkey, Nolan Perryman, Caleb Ramos, Elenor Scott, Natasha Stephens, Noah Thatcher and Brenda Waggerby.

The Annual Nederland Talent Show will be presented on one night only, Saturday November 9, featuring numbers selected by NMSHS music students. These talented students are competing for the $100 first prize, so the performances are sure to be top-notch.

On November 8 and 9, the following plays will be performed at 7 p.m., all of them directed by student directors:
“Puberty: The Game Show,” directed by Angie Ritt. In this game show parody gone berserk, two blameless adolescents are forced to negotiate the horrors and highlights of puberty … in front of national television. Their categories: Hormone Hijinks; Can’t We be Friends?; Embarrassing Moments; Why Me?; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; My Parents Will Kill Me.

“The Great Pandemonium” is directed by Sam Rawlins. “Now is the winter of our discontent,” quotes high-school drama coach Nusthorp. “Shakespeare probably wrote that because he had to direct his play!” The play in question is “Richard III,” and now, the night before it opens, the cast and crew are having to run what is laughingly known as a “Tech Rehearsal.”

Fall plays witty, ironicAlready on edge, Nusthorp has to contend with a militant assistant director, several missing actors who were grounded for TPing the principal’s house, and a prop woman who quits every chance she gets. Lights go up and down, actors fall off platforms, and then the principal shows up, proclaiming, “Pretend I’m not here,” only to interrupt every three minutes, wondering why they aren’t doing “Grease.” It’s all a bit more than Nusthorp can take.

“Rest in Peace” is directed by Natasha Kinczel and Tobiah Nagle. In this delicious comedy, a man apparently witnesses the immediate aftermath of his own death. He’s in a hospital, and as none of his relatives can see or hear him, he decides he must be dead. Another patient comes in and as they both see and hear each other, they decide that both of them must be dead.

What the other people say and do is not what either of the characters expected under the circumstances. It isn’t what the audience will expect either. You are invited to enjoy this unexpected show and its especially unexpected ending.

Performances will take place on November 8 and 9 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $5.00.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.