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Drama on the Open Road

Melodramatic scenes come to life as the drama team perform skits and plays in and out of class. Drama teacher Tom McEntee is just as much a part of the fray as his students are; he is the brainchild behind the performers on campus.

But this year, new things are happening in the drama program.

?This year we?ll have two big performances,? McEntee said. ?We will be working on a Shakespearian-type western entitled ?Much Ado Out West? in December.?

According to McEntee, part of the drama experience is overcoming the fears that many students have about performing in front of their peers. Once the students get over these initial obstacles, they most often have a great time.

?Those type of fears go away,? McEntee said. ?You just have to face them or else they?ll never leave.?

According to McEntee, the March 2005 drama and journalism trip to New York, led by journalism adviser, Greg Stobbe, was a major inspiration for this year?s productions.

?The trip to New York was an impetus for change,? McEntee said. ?When you see top notch material performed on Broadway two things come to mind.

?First, no high school performance can be that good and second, let?s try to be that perfect anyway. The first step to getting there is casting. I choose the students not based on talent, but by who is willing to work the hardest.?

Students in the drama group usually have a great time practicing new skits during their class time.

?Drama?s awesome,? Jason Harris, ?07, said. ?I have a lot of fun working and I laugh everyday.?

Drama performed their first skit, ?The Open Road,? during chapel on Sept. 6. Actors Brianna Stobbe, ?06, and Harris play a wife and husband pair struggling with their son Allen, played by Phil Unruh, ?07. Allen?s delusional mind causes him to believe he is the 19th century poet, Walt Whitman.

?I thought it was interesting, very well put together,? Mitchell Callisch, ?09, said. ?I think the actors have a lot of talent.?

The Open Road is a commentary on the relationship between teenagers and their parents. While only three out of the 27 actors performed during the first chapel, the rest off the team is continuing to build up their own scenes, practice with exercise games and prepare for an upcoming main production.

?We do a lot of fun skits and other things during class,? Brad Frazier, ?09, said.

McEntee has high hopes for the whole drama team this year.

?We?ve got a lot of hard workers,? McEntee said; ?it?s not just about talent; it?s about working hard as well.?

Many students may have some fears about joining drama due to the possibilities of embarrassment or simply fear of the limelight.

?It?s best to join having these fears and confront them,? McEntee said. ?The fears go away much quicker than if you never do anything about them.?

For more information concerning drama, contact McEntee at 297-9464, ext. 134, or via e-mail at [email protected].

Brianna Stobbe, photographer, also contributed to this article.

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