Students directing plays this weekend at Madison-Plains

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick In rehearsals for “Horrors of Dr. Moreau,” one of three plays directed by students this spring at Madison-Plains High School, senior Austin Wilson takes an aggressive stance as “The Sayer of the Law” to senior Walker Tipton’s “The Ape Man.”
Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
In rehearsals for “Horrors of Dr. Moreau,” one of three plays directed by students this spring at Madison-Plains High School, senior Austin Wilson takes an aggressive stance as “The Sayer of the Law” to senior Walker Tipton’s “The Ape Man

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

A mummy, the grim reaper and animal-people are among the characters that will fill the stage when Madison-Plains High School presents its annual student-led plays Feb. 28-March 2.

 “We asked our student-directors to pick a theme this year. They chose horror/science-fiction,” said Briana Richardson, co-advisor to the drama club with fellow teacher Scott Spohler.

Each spring, Richardson and Spohler tap a handful of seniors to step off the stage and into the director’s seat. This year, the honors went to Brady Simmons, Marissa Knisley and Torey Taylor.

 “They pick the plays they want to do from the catalogues, they find their own cast members, and they run their own rehearsals,” Richardson said. “Some of the cast members have acted before and some are new. It’s a nice way for us to expand our program.”

One of this year’s plays is serious; the other two are comedies. All three are one-acts, which allows them to be performed back-to-back-to-back on each performance date. Show times are: 7 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1; 2 p.m. March 2. All shows take place in the Madison-Plains High School auditorium. Tickets will be sold at the door and are $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and students.           

Brady
Brady Simmons

Student-director: Brady Simmons

Play: “Who’s Your Mummy?”

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis: An archaeologist brings home a sarcophagus, and the mummy comes alive. Side plots involve the archaeologist’s blind mother and a daughter in love with a country boy. Also, lots of characters end up falling out of a prop window.

Cast size: Seven actors

Reason for choosing to direct: “I always had suggestions when I was acting. I wanted to try and see what I could bring to the table as a director.”

Comments on cast and rehearsals: “Half of my cast members are new actors. They were good starting out; I was impressed.

 “It’s been hard working around snow days, and a lot of my cast are in other activities. My mummy is on the basketball team. So, scheduling has been fun.”

Knisley
Marissa Knisley

Student-director: Marissa Knisley

Play: “Horrors of Dr. Moreau”

Genre: Very dark drama

Synopsis: Based on the H.G. Wells story, “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” the play is about a scientist who tries to create a superior form of humans, but ends up with disfigured people with animal traits.

Cast size: Five actors on stage and one off-stage as the voice of Dr. Moreau

Reason for choosing the play: “I chose a play that reflects my acting. My roles have been on the emotional, dramatic, psychological side.”

Comments on cast and rehearsals: “We’ve missed a lot of time because of snow days. We had Feb. 17 as a day off from school for Presidents Day, so I had rehearsal at my house. The cast has been working really hard. I’m proud of them.”

Torey Taylor
Torey Taylor

Student-director: Torey Taylor

Play: “Don’t Fear the Reaper”

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis: The play is about the day the grim reaper gets fired for letting people choose their own fates. Woven into the humorous plotline is a strong message about good morals.

Cast size: Ten actors

Reason for choosing the play: “I’ve been in drama productions all four years of high school, and comedies just really stick for me. They’re just my personality.”

Comments on cast and rehearsals: “I’m very proud of my cast. You go into rehearsals ready to take notes about what needs to be fixed, but I can only see things they’re doing right. Some are first-timers and they’re doing phenomenally.” 

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