Theatrical group features two shows this spring

Sarah Unruh, Editor-in-Chief

  PLAYBHS Theatre Productions has been known for putting on two musicals every year, with one each semester. However, this spring, the theatrical group has attempted something different: two entirely different productions.

   The directors, Holly Thomsen and Michael Vander Linden, who usually work as a team, have split up for this semester.

   Unlike their recent productions, neither of these shows will be musicals. They are both plays, with one being written and directed by Mr. Vander Linden. This show is titled To Be Found. The other show, directed by Ms. Thomsen, was called All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum.

   “Musicals are a ton of work to put on, and we were getting worn out,” said Ms. Thomsen. “Also, singing and dancing is pushed in a musical. Doing a play will help the kids improve their acting skills.”

   Kindergarten was showing on April 6, 7, and 8, and the cast of To Be Found will perform on April 13, 14, and 15. The Friday and Saturday night performances begin at 6:30 pm, and the Sunday showings are at 2 pm.

   A unique aspect of Kindergarten was that the show was originally written for five actors, but Ms. Thomsen adapted it to fit 10 cast members. Despite this addition, it was the smallest cast that PLAYBHS Theatre has seen in years.

   To Be Found has a larger cast of 34 students. Along with being a brand new production, this show also features many dance scenes. From solo and duet pieces to full cast numbers, To Be Found contains a significant amount of choreography.

   Junior Alli Dunlop chose to audition for To Be Found simply for the dancing alone. “I enjoy dancing, so I knew that a show centered around it would be right up my alley,” she said.

   Another aspect of these shows is the noticeably reduced amount of set pieces present. To Be Found will primarily feature projections.

   Despite being cast in different shows, many theatre members are still involved within both productions. Students were allowed to act in Kindergarten and still be crew for To Be Found, and vice-versa.

   Also, two shows means twice the amount of crew members needed. Fortunately, this allow students who usually are on the stage to earn some experience  backstage.

   “I was worried at first about not doing a musical and about being split up into separate casts, but I’m still having lots of fun,” said junior Aliyah Shetler.

   Another addition to this semester’s changes has been the addition of student directors. Since the job usually done by two people is now put onto one person, each director selected an experienced cast member to help bear the weight of the show.

   The student director for Kindergarten was senior Anna Hughes, and senior Jenna Adsitt is assisting with To Be Found.

   “Being a student director has given me insight on what the directors go through every show,” said Anna. “It’s fun to see another side of theatre.”

   After the spring shows, PLAYBHS Theatre will then begin planning for their summer children’s theatre program. After last year’s initial success, it was decided that the program was to be continued.

   This year’s production of Disney’s The Lion King Jr. will show three times on June 15 and 16.

   Despite the many changes seen on the stage this semester, PLAYBHS Theatre continues to amaze the school and community.

Alli Dunlop
Three Kindergarten cast members rehearse a dramatic scene from the show.