Alder actors staging a four-pack of short plays

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
The Jonathan Alder High School drama department is presenting “Dionysia 2023: Love, Loss, & Bigfoot,” a series of four short plays. Among the actors are: (from left) Emma Colopy, Vanora Vowell, Dani Berger, Sofia McCabe, Matt Hirschberg, and Henry Saiter.

(Posted Nov. 6, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Jonathan Alder High School’s drama department is taking a new approach to its fall stage production. Rather than present one longer play, they are presenting four shorter plays–three of which students are directing. The collection is called “Dionysia 2023: Love, Loss, & Bigfoot.”

The reason for the change, said Director Daniel Rodriguez Hijo, is to offer students more opportunities.

“Multiple and shorter plays means more lead and focused roles to give,” he said. “Plus, it allows me to lift up student-directors and help give them the toolset and critical eye to direct their own stuff in the future.”

Performances are set for 7 p.m. Nov. 9-11 and 2 p.m. Nov. 12 at the high school.

Tickets are $10 and are being sold at the door and at Most of the plays are world premieres from playwrights around the country.

First up in the four-pack of plays is “Moon Logic,” written by David Lipschutz and directed by Jonathan Alder senior Trisha Lennex. In the play, a video game hero must beat the trials, monsters, and even the narrator in his quest to save the princess. That is, if she will let him. The 10-minute play is a comedy.

Next is “Piece of Cake,” written by Allie Costa and directed by Jonathan Alder senior Maelee Rapalo. The storyline follows a tense small-business owner who must face her strained relationship with the Muffin Man or risk losing her employee and customers. The 10-minute play has a heartfelt vibe.

The third play is “Sleeping with Cicadas,” written by Melissa Milich and directed by Jonathan Alder sophomore Derek Rodriguez. In this 10-minute farce, secrets of Appalachia run the risk of exposure when a federal agent encounters a pair of mountain men.

Rodriguez Hijo is directing the final play in the series, “Cross Winds Over the Saanich Inlet” by Karen Howes. In this 30- to 40-minute drama, a remote wedding is upended when the groom is nowhere to be found. Could it be cold feet–or something better?

Students in the backstage crew conceptualized, built, and painted the sets for the plays with help from Kristin Tillyer, a longtime supporter of music and arts at Jonathan Alder.

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