Thespians announce new season
May 13, 2016
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A chorus of raucous applause broke out in the student cafeteria as the new season was announced at the annual thespian banquet.
“I think [the season] is going to be a really good blend of light-hearted things with Don’t Drink the Water and Red Velvet Cake War,” Derek Jensen, theatre teacher, said. “Then we have Rent which isn’t necessarily dark but has some serious themes and good messages about living for today and appreciating people for who they are. I think it’s a really balanced season that has something for everyone.”
The underclassmen play is Don’t Drink the Water, a comedy by Woody Allen about an American tourist and his family fleeing the police in an American embassy.
“I chose Don’t Drink the Water because it was the underclassmen show and we needed something that would feature them and it had a cast that was about the right size and it was a comedy so it’s fun and light-hearted,” Jensen, who will direct the underclassmen play, said. “It’s something I think underclassmen will be able to handle pretty well. It was written by Woody Allen and I’m a big Woody Allen fan and I was in it in college so I’m familiar with it. It’s just a fun show.”
The new season features the tony-award winning musical Rent, a modern retelling of the opera La Boheme featuring New York artists during the AIDS epidemic.
“I’ve always been a big rent fan and it’d always been one that I’d planned on doing eventually. [Mr. Ratzloff] actually mentioned that there was a school version that would be a little more palatable if we had to defend being able to do it. Usually my reaction to school editions of shows is pretty negative. I’m just kind of purist in that way that the shows were written the way they were for a reason,” Jensen, who will also direct the musical, said. “But Rent was one I thought could be done in a school edition without it ruining what the shows about. Even though there’s all these changes, it’s still Rent.”
The fall play will be The Red Velvet Cake War, a fast-paced southern comedy centered around a disastrous family reunion in Texas.
“[The Red Velvet Cake War]’s about a family reunion in a town called Sweetgum, Texas and there’s a conflict because one woman who is one of the family members makes a wager with another family member that they can make a better red velvet cake,” Gregg Ratzloff, theatre teacher, said. “I like shows that have over the top characters and it’s a comedy. It’s just my type of show.
The season will end with the classic Arthur Miller play The Crucible, a fictionalized tale of the Salem Witch trials.
“To end with the crucible, a really heavy drama is a really good way to round out the season. I think it’s a really balanced season that has something for everyone.” Jensen said.