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Fall play a lesson in all things theatrical PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darci Tomky   

From musicals and melodramas to monologues and mimes, the HHS Drama Department introduced the audience to all things theatrical in their production of “Just Another High School Play.”

They took the HHS stage, under the direction of Eric Conklin, last Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 17.

After being deserted by their teacher, it was up to the stage manager, played by Molly Brandt, and the assistant director, played by Ben Martinez, to pull it all together. The sensible Brandt finds some old scripts for the students to use, but the self-obsessed Martinez is more of a distraction than a help, with his Hokey Pokey dancing, piano playing and misuse of the phrase, “Break a leg.”

After being deserted by their teacher, stage manager Molly Brandt
reminds assistant director Ben Martinez they have an audience waiting
for a performance, despite his laid-back, self-centered attitude and ridiculous shenanigans.

—Enterprise photo

 The narrator Brandon Struckmeyer took audiences on a journey through time with Egypt, Rome and England, and even a dose of “Grease” the musical with Kelsey Kramer and José Jaquez. Then some mimes, including Dani Brandt, left the audience just a little speechless.

Kelsey Kramer mistakes the musical “Grease” for a history lesson on
drama in the country of Greece.
—Enterprise photo

Escaping the dangers of bright, shiny light bulbs, Jacob Vasa and Brittney Prottsman demonstrated just how actors stay in such good mental shape.

Although the announcer, A.J. Brandt, made a disclaimer that they didn’t mean to offend anyone, including all those Haxtun High students in attendance, actor Anastasia Conklin was more than offended when a joke in the sound booth disrupted her “To be, or not to be” speech.

Actors must always remember “safety first,” even if Vasa and Zach Roll are dueling it out with seemingly harmless balloon animals and rubber chickens.

Zach Roll, pictured at right, proves he’s not chicken when he faces Jacob Vasa, who is accidentally wounded during a “sword fight” with a balloon animal and a rubber chicken.  
—Enterprise photo

Audience members learned it is, in fact, possible to complete the history of melodramas in 90 seconds or less, with the help of Maddie King, Elli Ahro, Vasa and Conklin. And Jaquez, Roll and Vasa proved it’s possible to turn “A Christmas Carol” into a rap, complete with some “yo yo yos” and baggy shorts.

José Jaquez turns the timeless “A Christmas Carol” into an impressive
rap number.  —Enterprise photo

As if that wasn’t enough to get the audience rolling in the aisles, the sight of Ryan Parker, Struckmeyer, Vasa and Roll in dresses was enough to do them in. Girls Josilyn Lutze, Jacinda Krueger, Peyton Dittmer and Alyssa Livermore cleverly switched things up on the guys for a unique version of “Little Men” and some surrealism, complete with fairy wings and wands.

As if the dress wasn’t enough, Ryan Parker really gets the audience
laughing with his surrealism sketch.  —Enterprise photo

The joke was on Holyoke during Struckmeyer and Lutze’s rendition of “Our Town,” and a less-than-accurate simultaneous performance of Tom Jones and David Copperfield by Troy Brown and Roll kept the audience on their toes.

Brandon Struckmeyer throws in a little improv during a unique HHS
Drama version of “Our Town.”  
—Enterprise photo

It wouldn’t be theater without a performance of “Romeo and Juliet,” although a puppet show probably isn’t exactly what Shakespeare had in mind.

Puppeteer Alyssa Livermore, with Anastasia Conklin looking on, gives the audience “Romeo and Juliet”
like they’ve never seen before.  —Enterprise photo

Audiences were tested in their theater knowledge when Alex McCallum, Parker, Roll and Krueger took them through a whirlwind of parodies of some of the classics.

After dozens of plays and musicals spanning hundreds of years, in the end, cast members proved this was anything but “Just Another High School Play.”


Holyoke Enterprise November 22, 2012