SDOA to feature serious, funny plays

By Jackie Ruiz, Editor

            Student directors are trying to bring joy not only to students at GISH but to students and parents across the GIPS community, according to senior Timothy Troxel.

Troxel, Laila McComb, Aspen Polltack, and Kayden Renner are the student directors for this year’s Senior High SDOAs (Student Directed One Acts).

The SDOAs are a tradition at Senior High where students are given the opportunity to write and direct a play of their choice.

McComb and her cast are working together to put on It’s Not You, It’s me by Don Zolidis.

Catherine, played by Alexa Black and her son to be ex-boyfriend Jacob, played by Corbin Bergmeier, break up because he won’t pay attention to her in the play, “It’s Not You, It’s Me.”

She added that she chose to do this play because it made her laugh and thought people would find it relatable.

“It’s filled with ridiculous breakup scenes between all different kinds of couples. Some of them are relatable, some of them are a little crazy, but all of them are absolutely hilarious,” she said.

“It was school appropriate but also funny,” she said, “I thought it would be a good play for people who want to laugh and have a good time.”

She added that her favorite scene is when a character named Jack sings “Baby” by Justin Beiber at the top of his lungs. 

“All of the scenes are my favorite, but this one is phenomenal and something that I think the crowd will really enjoy,” she said.

Cast members of DAnte’s Inferno wonder if they are stuck in time.

            Polltack is directing a play she wrote with co-director Keith Stewart called DAnte’s Inferno. It’s about a group of friends who get stuck on groundhogs day in a continual time loop. The only way to escape the time loop is by confronting their issues and changing.

            “My favorite part of the play so far is our emotional scenes, I love seeing my actors put all their emotions and energy into these scenes,” she said.

            Renner is directing The Coven with co-directors Ava LaBrie and Emma Smidt.

Cast members of “The Coven” kneel in front of their new leader played by Anne Martinez.

            The play is based on the Salem Witch Trials in the 1700s where a group of 13 witches were involved in a massacre. They have to try and save their own kind while trying to get along with humans. 

The witches explore their struggles and face a surprising enemy, Renner said.

“There is a scene where a character gets possessed and starts screaming bloody murder in the church,” he said, “Our play is more serious and not on the lighthearted side, but still very fun to watch.”

Renner added that the overall theme is that conflict and wanting power gets people hurt.

            “The lesson to learn is that people should be able to live with each other no matter what,” he said.

            Troxel is directing a play called Napoleon Dynamite with his co-directors, Haley Wiemers and Emma Haar. 

Lafawnduh, played by Brianna Linden, says “Yes” to Kip Dynamite, played by Casey Sorenson, in the play, “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Adapted from the movie of the same title, Napoleon Dynamite is an off-the-wall comedy about the drama contained within a high school in rural Idaho, he said.

The story follows Napoleon, Deb, and Pedro, as they find dates for prom, run a campaign for student government, and navigate the awkwardness and uncertainty of the high school experience. 

            “I chose to tell this story as a director, because Napoleon Dynamite is a cult-classic film, touching on subjects that remain familiar to high schoolers today,” Troxel said.

            He added that it has a unique sense of humor and charm that he hopes others will share their laughter and joy over.

“The SDOAs open the door to a lot of opportunities; they’re always fun to be a part of, whether you’re an actor, a technician, or the director,” he said.

The performance will take place on May 7 from 1-10 p.m. in the auditorium.

Each play will run twice and students will get in free with their ID’s. Tickets will be $5 for adults and $3 for children.

Gary Alexander, theater teacher, said that he is constantly impressed with the dedication and hard work students are putting into the SDOAs.  

This is his first year teaching theater at Senior High, but his eighth year teaching in general.

“I have a lot of respect for our students because they didn’t really know me at the beginning of the year but decided to stay and direct the plays anyway.”

            He added that students in his advanced theater class prepared by going over responsibilities for stage managers and how to organize plays. They discussed how to prepare mentally, decided on set designs, and did character blocking.

            “I hope that students and parents come and see the hard work everyone has put in,” he said, “The plays won’t be perfect, but they will be wonderful to watch.”

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