Fall theater offering three plays on Nov. 11, 12

This year’s fall plays feature three plays including two one-acts and a two act play. The first play is Second Samuel, which features community and learning to deal with adversity. The second play Speed Dating features a comedy play about dating stereotypes. The final play is Margaret Cradmeier’s Catalogue of Minor Yet Helpful Uncanny Abilities, which features a girl who finds the power of ordinary people.

Senior Cass Taylor a senior actor in the plays. She said, “Second Samuel is about a small town’s journey toward accepting that one of their beloved neighbors was transgender, which they find out after she dies. It’s quite a shock for everyone, but by the end of the play, they learned that this secret that they found out about her doesn’t change who she was in her life. The next one, Speed Date, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like; it’s just a series of dates with very archetypal and funny characters who are very exaggerated and outrageous. MYWA for short is about sort of showcasing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Just little abilities that people have that make their lives better. One person who’s very good at distracting her teachers and making them talk about things and forget to tell her the homework, so that one’s also very comedic.”

Taylor has two roles. Neil, who is like a salesman in Speed Date, and Mylo, who does not want to do his English project in MYWA. “This is my first time acting. I did tech last year, but I think it’s been very tiring but also enjoyable. I have not really acted before,” she said. “I found it a very welcoming environment, I think. I think that there are a lot of people who haven’t acted before particularly in the two shows I’m in. It was fun even though I am kinda glad that it’s gonna be over soon.”

Taylor said there have been struggles for her. “It’s difficult to get up on stage and perform when you don’t really know what you’re doing, and also we’ve had struggles with rehearsals because we’re doing three, which isn’t what we normally do because they had a lot of people who auditioned, but overall I think it’s going fairly well.”

She said the support of the whole cast is what makes the struggles surmountable. “I’d say I think it’s nice because there are a lot of people, and so I think it takes the pressure off a bit for yourself because it’s not like just you and few other people up there. It’s everyone, and so if you’re struggling, odds are a couple of people are probably struggling with it too. You don’t feel quite as nervous about it. I think it’s nice.”

The whole process has also taught Taylor some things about herself. “I’ve found that when I get nervous I figure out how to deal with that, whereas before I would’ve frozen up and not known what to do. I think I also learned more about how theater works because I don’t really think I got a very good glimpse last year because I did tech, but I’ve learned a bit more about how hectic it is and how much work it is for the directors, actors and tech.”

She said she’ll carry her lessons with her well after high school. “I think if I’m able to, I’d at least come and see future shows, especially with the new high school and stuff and what that’s like, but I’d say that I’m looking forward to it.”

Joshua Umemezie is an actor in Speed Dating and Maragret Cradmeier’s Catalogue of Minor Yet Helpful Uncanny Abilities with villains and heroes.

He said the roles have their challenges, such as “knowing my lines and walk-ins. Also trying to bring my character to life.” but he has enjoyed the effort. “It was fun. I can tell you that. It was a whole lot of fun, also difficult, trying to put people where you can put grease in the iron. I learned that hard work pays off. Everyone has a role to play no matter how small.”

Colin Hayes, a junior who plays in Second Samuel, plays Mansel. “He is the town drunk pretty much. It’s a pretty fun role with a lot of comedic humor and not necessarily reacting to everything like others would. I’m more just clueless, and it’s a fun role.”

Hayes said the role has had some surprises for him. “I didn’t even fully expect to get into Second Samuel, but when I did the workload was pretty heavy. I hadn’t seen the play before going into it. I was really surprised about what happened during the read-through. It’s been enjoyable though.”
Another struggle that Hayes missed was missing a lot of practices, as well as other challenges. “Last week I missed the whole week due to illness. Otherwise, one of the main narrators is supposed to be played as autistic. That has been a challenge for us to do it, not in an offensive way while still getting that across. Other challenges have been illness really. It’s flu season.”

Help from others has been a blessing to Hayes too. “A large cast with all the plays is fun. You don’t get to interact as much as I wished, between each play. With Second Samuel especially, I got really close with a lot of the people in the cast. I knew a majority of them going in, but this just helped and built our relationship.”

The experience has kindled a spark in Hayes for further involvement. “I have interest in doing the other plays and musicals next year. This was my first time working with Rathe, so it was an experience. Overall, it’s been really enjoyable. I’ve learned I still have a lot to grow and that it’s gonna take work. I’m excited for the spring season and also next year for the musicals and plays they are going to plan.”

The plays will take place on Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30 in the high school auditorium. Tickets are sold at the door for $5, and activity passes are accepted. 

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