The students of Douglas High School’s Drama Club will put on two final shows before the end of the school year, and there are mixed emotions all around. For many of the students, this is their last show on the DHS stage.
The final improv show of the year will run May 3-5, with shows on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.
Tickets cost $7 general admission and $5 for students, seniors, and pre-sale, which can be bought from drama club members.
The following weekend there will be showings of “Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview,” the Senior Showcase piece, on May 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for this show cost $5 pre-sale or $7 for admission at the door.
Both productions will serve as fundraisers to send students on to the International Thespian Competition in Nebraska this summer.
Although three years ago the school didn’t send students to the regional competition, this year they sent 24 students to state and will be sending 13 on to the international level.
So far, the international competition has cost the club more than $9,000.
The improv show will be run in the style of “Saturday Night Live.”
The members of the improv team are Kyle Roundy, Hayleigh Green, Matt Tollefson, Keaton Peters, Katherine Pacheco, Grant Spurgeon, Justine Dale, Cayli McGuire, Zayla Zedlar, Nicole Bennett, and David Sando, with team captains Alina Harwood and Kyle Ruscigno.
“Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview” contains a series of short scenes, called vignettes, portraying high school students interviewing for a college, and is put on entirely by the drama club seniors.
“I play interviewer one, and I go through a series of horrendous interviews that are hilarious. The audience should love them,” said Hayleigh Green, Drama Club president. Green plans to study as an actress at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles after she graduates this year.
Although the students aren’t giving much away about the play, Cayli Maguire, who plays Kelly and Maria describes one of her characters as quiet, and the other as an awkward cat lady.
“It’ll be fun. My goal is that they do everything,” said Amy Sando, who is in charge of the drama department at DHS.
The students came up with the idea for a senior showcase this year because they wanted a way to bond one last time and say goodbye to the stage. Sando hopes this will be the first annual senior showcase and that in the future the students will select the play, cast it, direct it, perform it, and tech it themselves, but this year she has stepped in as director at the students’ request.
Following the 45 minute production, there will be a short improv show
“I helped Chyanne (the stage manager) with some special surprises for the improv show,” said Katherine Pacheco, Drama Club secretary and lighting designer for the Senior Showcase.
“It’s our last chance to work together and perform the skills we’ve developed here together as a team,” said Nicole Bennett, a member of the Improv Team, about the Senior Showcase.
Green confirmed, “I’ve never been so excited for a production in my life. It’s so much fun and our cast... we love each other.”
The students all seem to have mixed feelings about the upcoming graduation, saying they are excited for the future, but sad to leave the drama community behind.
Bennett says the one thing she’ll miss most about Douglas drama is the people, and McGuire teared up when she said, “It’s upsetting because I love my theater friends.”
The senior showcase will be a celebration of the talent the students have nurtured in their time at DHS, of the friendships they have built, and the memories that they share.
“We have about 20 seniors. I feel like a coach who has to build a team all over again,” said Sando about the upcoming graduation. “Graduation will be hard for me. There are students who say this is their home away from home. It’s a close-knit group.”