Douglas High drama presents modern dark comedy: 'Every Seventeen Minutes ...'

The lighting is dim as the characters, dressed in black and barefoot, step up toward the edge of the stage, speaking in unison. The music pulses faster and faster before the characters break out.

This opening scene may seem like the prologue to a Sophocles' drama, but in actuality this scene is from a modern play called "Every Seventeen Minutes the Crowd Goes Crazy!", by Paul Zindel, and is the latest production by the Douglas High School drama club.

"Every Seventeen Minutes" revolves around a family of teenagers whose parents unexplainably abandon them and travel from one horse racetrack to the next, sending the children nothing save for simple faxes about their doings. The siblings want desperately to hold their family together with no one to turn to as their peers also cope with their strange and broken families. Each sibling has his or her own issues to deal with, as well as caring for one another; Ulie, the youngest sibling, parades around the stage with blow-up dummies dressed up as her parents; oldest sister Maureen uses crinkling bags to get rid of the voices in her head; middle sisters Wendy and Gabby each face conflicting eating disorders, one starving, one overeating; Danny starts hosting parties for high school losers as an attempt to make money, and oldest brother Dave tries to keep his optimism despite the chaos.

The play, although modern and often darkly humorous, parallels the timeless troubling theme of parents abandoning their children. Opening and ending with a spoken chorus, it takes the form of a modern Greek tragedy.

The show is directed by Ashley Hennefer and Mark Young, and is a DHS drama club production. Performances are March 16, 17 and 18 in the Douglas High School theater at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $4 for students/seniors, $5 for general. Children younger than 10 may not understand elements of the show. For more information, call 790-4920.

Cast List:

Ulie - Casey Cotter

Maureen - Annie Austin

Dave - Chris Ross

Danny - Ashley Hennefer

Gabby - Morgan Davis

Wendy - Allison Hines

Jimmy - Nate Schaller

Johnny - Tori Nickles

Stevie - Dillon Barber

Cora - Brandie Sharp

Betsy - Desi Davis

Ann - Julia Sourikoff

Josh - Mark Young


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