There's always something exciting about being in the audience of a high-school dramatic production. Perhaps it stems from my own high-school memories of variety shows and one-act dramas or it may be the energy levels of young actors eager to turn in the performance of their budding stage "careers"? Who knows, but in the case of Springfield High School, there's always something for an audience member to anticipate on stage.
Of course not every high school student is moved to pursue a career in the theater arts-it's a rough road to follow, but a few, I am sure, will get the performance bug after being involved with the excellent SHS Drama Club.
Even if a SHS dramatic alumnus didn't go on to appear in a local community theater show, SHS has done its part to offer excitement in the local stage arts.
For example, last year's SHS spring production of "How to Succeed in Business..." was a delight. The student cast was well rehearsed and the performances were better than ever.
Throughout the school year, the SHS Drama Club keeps busy honing its collective stagecraft skills-that knowledge is passed on to the next crop of rising student actors. Even the SHS prop crew deserves mention here for their seemingly endless creative ability to produce cool sets that look great, even if manufactured on a low budget.
But SHS Drama Club isn't just a little local high school drama. This high school club has been noted by school drama clubs around Vermont. In fact, 2011's Vermont State Drama Club will be hosted by SHS in April; that's a nice bit of recognition for a very dedicated group of teens.
So, never shying from a dramatic challenge, the SHS Drama Club will tackle one of the stage's most compelling dramas-playwright Arthur Miller's "The Crucible". The club's performances are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m.
According to instructor Rebecca Skrypeck's SHS website page, "Not only am I an English teacher, I am the drama teacher/coach!" We can only imagine her multi-tasking skills.
Juggling a busy fall classroom schedule, Skrypeck is also busy skillfully guiding her student actors when the curtain goes up next week on "The Crucible".
According to Skrypeck's recent news announcement about the SHS play dates, Arthur Miller's drama focuses on a young New England farmer, his wife, and a young servant-girl who maliciously causes the wife's arrest for witchcraft. The farmer brings the girl to court to admit the lie and it is here that the monstrous course of bigotry and deceit is terrifyingly depicted. The farmer, instead of saving his wife, finds himself also accused of witchcraft and ultimately condemned with a host of others, according to Skrypeck. But enough plot spoilers for those unfamiliar with this powerful drama.
This year's SHS production will take place at the Springfield Community Players' Studio on South Street. This is the club's first show at the 80-seat capacity studio.
So, now the actors move into their positions in stage. Slowly, the curtain begins to rise...
Check It Out: "The Crucible" was the winner of the 1953 Tony Award for Best Play. The SHS drama, about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in old Salem, Mass., is both an historical play and a parable of contemporary society. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students/seniors. There will be no reservations. The doors of the Springfield Community Players' Studio on South Street will open at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.