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Junior high, high school combine for two performances, May 20, 21

Bethany Pouliot | The Feather Online

During A Night of One Acts, actor Ethan Hamm awaits his next blind date as ‘Guy’, while Jordan Mazzela as ‘Sophie’ winks in her approach during “Check Please,” May 20-21.

The campus drama class is ending the year with A Night of One Acts, starring two one acts performed by junior high and high school students, May 20 and May 21. The junior high production is titled, “The Internet is Distract– OH LOOK A KITTEN!” by Ian Mc Wethy, and the high school production is titled, “Check Please” by Jonathan Rand.

Drama teacher Kyle Dodson says this is probably one of the brightest crop of junior high performers he has seen on campus.

“The drama students’ instinct and their ability to dive into the work is incredible to watch,” Dodson said. “They have great chemistry and their one-act provides them a fantastic outlet to present the skills that they have.”

There are two one acts on stage this coming week. One will be performed by the junior highers and one performed by the high schoolers. The junior high’s production is titled, ‘The Internet is Distract– OH LOOK A KITTEN!’ and is about a student, Micah, who is rushing to complete an essay on The Great Gatsby, but unfortunately he gets distracted with the multiple offerings that the internet provides– games, shopping, videos. Students portray websites such as “Wikipedia,” “Amazon,” and “Facebook.”

Dodson says his junior high performers should be on play watch for those attending the performances this week.

“I would advise to be on the lookout for 7th grader Mateo Pascual as “Catsby” (the cat who can recite F. Scott Fitzgerald’s narration), 7th grader Ezekiel Van Noy as a pompous Wikipedia, and 7th grader Annabelle Counts as a desperate Amazon,” Dodson said. “This show gives the opportunity for all junior high students to shine.”

High school drama student sophomore Colton Allen has spent time on stage both with his guitar and acting and says he loves the class.

“Mr. Dodson is a really great director and he’s got his education in drama an you get to learn a lot of interesting stuff,” Allen said. “This Sunday we have two one-act shows. Junior high is putting on one and high school is doing the other. The junior high one is called “The internet is distracting–OH LOOK A KITTEN.” That one is about a girl who is trying to get her paper done by the morning and she keeps getting distracted by the internet.”

Sophomore Jordan Mazzela will rely on her humor and wit to keep the audience laughing in the high school production.

“I’m am going to be in “Check Please,” Mazella said. “It’s a play with two characters: a girl and a guy and they have to sit on these dates and go through a bunch of different people with these crazy personalities. Through preparing this one act, it has been really fun to bond with the rest of my class and we always have a lot of laughs during the preparation.”

Bethany Pouliot | The Feather Online

In “Check Please,” actor CJ Allen, center, is making blind dating as difficult as possible for Tatiana Iest’s character, ‘Girl’.

With a strong returning cast and dedicated newcomers to drama, Dodson says he feels confident in the high school cast of “Check, Please.”

“By leaning in on each of the performer’s unique abilities,” Dodson said, “the specific humorous character work shines bright. I was able to tap into Jordan’s strong physical comedy, Ethan Hamm’s natural qualities as an “everyman,” and Natalya Hill’s penchant for exuberant behavior. Expect to laugh at so much of the absurdity that the guy and girl experience just trying to find somebody to enjoy an evening with.”

While high school students may not always enjoy working alongside junior high students, Ethan Hamm, ’20, believes this group has unique characteristics which bond them.

“Usually when we do a two-act play, the junior highers don’t get as large of a role as they like,” Hamm said. “And because Mr. Dodson felt that the junior highers were really talented this year, he wanted them to really shine. I like being able to be totally weird in this class. Because it feels like in other classes you have to stay calm and act normal. Mr. Dodson is weird and most of the class is weird, and I’m weird, so it works out.”

A Night of One Acts, starring two one-acts by junior high and high school students, are only two nights, May 20 and May 21 are free. The May 20 performance starts at 4 p.m., while the May 21 performance begins at 7 p.m. Both productions are in the Student Ministries Center of Peoples Church and are free. Come prepared to laugh and enjoy about a 75-minute presentation.

The following slideshow is from a final dress rehearsal, May 18, by Bethany Pouliot.

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For an article on last year’s drama class, check out English, Drama teacher creates unique finals. For recent Feather articles, look for Val Rivera retires after 10 faithful years, Senior Reflection: Cate Vander Kooi, BREAKING: Class of 2018 embarks on annual senior trip to SoCal or watch Stobbe Shenanigans.

Owen Monke can be reached via email and Twitter. Kamryn Schultz can be reached by email and Twitter.

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