A Year of Increasing Complexity
Fall 2011: "Much Ado Out West" by Ray Bradford
This was the first in an ongoing intention by Mr. Lashua to actively include Shakespeare not only in the academic study of Theatre Arts I, but the practical performance of the Production class. This trend has continued almost every year since, and will be a mainstay!
This wacky comedy takes Shakespeare's beloved comedy, "Much Ado About Nothing," and sets it in the Old West. When Pedro, Benny, and Claude return from fighting in the Civil War to find that their jobs have all been taken by the womenfolk of the town, a hilarious battle of the sexes ensues!
This was also the first of several fine collaborations with Ms. Shaw (now Mrs. Schettler) for finely tuned choreography and actual dance numbers. A little rough at first, but looked great by showtime! This was also the first appearance of The Cactus, which would become a meme for almost every show afterward. Keep an eye out!
Spring 2012: "More Than Words: Four Adventures in Subtext"
Serious Spin on Social Commentary
In a rare break from form, we tackled some serious subject matter AND presented a series of shorter one-acts rather than one contiguous show. An ambitious move with many positive payoffs, to say the least.
Theme: the focus of the evening was to examine different ways we use subtext, both in the classical sense of Shakespeare but also our own everyday lives facing challenges familiar to most teenagers and adults. Subtext is essentially the meaning under what we say (sub = under, text = words) and how we say it - or don't! This can show up in tone of voice, body language, and other ways we show our attitude behind what we're saying, positive or negative.
"Friend Request" by Bradley Hayward
A doctored photo circles among a group of friends online, with disastrous results as cyberbullying comes to the stage.
"Double Click" by Bradley Hayward
A young couple flirts online before their first day of school at a new high school, but each is trying to hold a terrible secret from the other.
"Bench Warrant" by Bradley Hayward
A shy student is bullied by some popular girls until one of them realizes it's time to take a stand.
"Drop Dead, Juliet!" by Alison Williams
In this fun twist on Shakespeare's classic romantic tragedy, Juliet is tired of dying at the end of every show and forces the Bard's hand, insisting on more women, more love, and less death. Hilarity ensues!
In many senses of the word, this show was a huge success. The actors brought remarkable maturity to their performances, the audiences were clearly moved by the serious, relevant topic matter, and we successfully attempted sets that were almost entirely projected. However, many of the cast expressed relief after the performance was over, as they simply hadn't enjoyed playing mean/serious roles for weeks on end. Point taken. "Friend Request," however, would resurface several times in the ensuing years for showcases to feature the theatre program on Open House and Back to School nights.