This month, Marion County high school students are taking the stage for a variety of plays and musicals. This weekend includes “Cinderella” at Marion, “Hello, Dolly!” at Peabody-Burns, and “The Three Musketeers” at Goessel. Hillsboro will present “Once Upon a Mattress” next weekend, and the Tuesday after that, Centre will show “Fools.”
This is my fourth year of going to rehearsals all around the county to preview the plays. In fact, one of my first big projects here was previewing the plays in the fall of 2008. I’ve probably seen seven school plays in my time here, and I’ve never been disappointed. It is great seeing how much improvement cast members make between the time I’m at rehearsals and when the curtains part on opening night.
If you don’t at least see your local high school’s play, you’re doing yourself and those students a disservice. They put in long hours practicing, both in and out of rehearsals. I was never involved in theater growing up, but I had friends who were, and my sister was always in the play, so I’ve seen the amount of work that goes into these productions.
And here’s the thing: after the amount of work all those students put into the plays, you won’t find a better entertainment value. If you buy your tickets in advance, the most you’re going to pay is $5. You can’t see a movie for that much. Plus, going to a school play doesn’t require driving half an hour to get there. If you miss an excellent performance in one of the local plays, that’s your only chance, you can’t see it the next week or wait for the blu-ray release. Three years later, I still remember Jessica Elliott as Annie Oakley in “Annie Get Your Gun” and Brady Hudson as Danny Zuko in “Grease.”
And when it comes down to it, current and future students need community support, or these kinds of programs that help produce well-rounded adults will go away. So spend an evening out and a few bucks to see a show and help ensure these valuable programs continue. I’m sure you’ll get your time and money’s worth.
— Adam Stewart