High school theater groups to mount performances

PARKERSBURG – From a parody of the whole wizards and vampires genres to the somewhat comedic speculation of a classroom when one of their own is mysteriously taken away to the classic story of a group of sisters in 19th century America to a musical comedy dealing with America’s favorite past time, baseball, three local high schools will be putting on stage productions this weekend.

Students at Parkersburg Catholic High School, Parkersburg South High School and Parkersburg High School will all be presenting productions to give their students a chance to participate in the performing arts and the art of stagecraft.

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Parkersburg Catholic High School

Students at Parkersburg Catholic High School will be performing in two one-act plays this year, “Harry’s Hotter at Twilight” and “After Math.”

“Harry’s Hotter at Twilight,” written by Jonathan Dorf , is a crazed mash-up parody of the Harry Potter and Twilight series, with nods to Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Alice in Wonderland, and other stars pop culture. The story features invisible rabbits, armies of babies, murderous lunatics, evil gourmets and much more. Hilarity ensues as everyone’s favorite wizards, vampires, and werewolves battle to save the gloomy town of Spork – and indeed the world – from certain destruction at the hands of the nefarious Fine Diner and the bloodthirsty Euphoria.

The cast is Euphoria – Rachel Tennant; First to go – Abby Campbell; Random Lunatic – Sarah Stewart; Uptight know it all girl wizard – Carmen Thorne; Harry – Garet Leisure; Rob – Noah Collie; Stella – Maria Petrella; Shirtless Guy – Ryan Helm; Edward – Tony Borrelli; Latkes – Rachel Tennant; Professor Bake – Josh Wilkinson; The Fine Diner – Lydia Walters; First Fine Diner – Nate Dehmlow; Dufus McFly – Andrew Garvin; Wacko – Jake Wilkinson; Neville – Abby Campbell; Alice 1 – Julia Ambrozy; Dormouse – Maria Boggs; Loxy Cohen – Sarah Stewart; Corney & Strambo – Christina Helm; Hot Shirtless Pack Leader – Mike Cox; and Stork – Abby Campbell.

“After Math,” also written by Dorf, deals with the speculation of what happened when a man and woman in suits take Emmett away in the middle of math class, his classmates come up with their own explanations for his mysterious disappearance. As they offer many guesses, the audience begins to realize that no one really knew Emmett. Who is Emmett, and why is it that no one paid any attention to him until he was gone?

The cast is Emmett – Nate Dehmlow; Mrs. Parks – Sarah Stewart; Suit-Wearing Man – Josh Wilkinson; Suit-Wearing Woman – Maria Boggs; Alice – Lydia Walters; Almost Emmett – Andrew Garvin; Terry – Garet Leisure; Superhero Student – Garet Leisure; First Chorus – Maria Petrella; Second Chorus – Carmen Thorne; Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh Chorus – Abby Campbell & Jake Wilkinson; Shaking Student – Maria Petrella; Artsy-Looking Student – Tony Borrelli; Tom Sawyer – Ryan Helm; Rock Fan – Mike Cox; Disappearing Student – Noah Collie; Student – Abby Campbell; Second Student – Jake Wilkinson; Third Student – Julia Ambrozy; Fourth Student – Rachel Tennant; Fifth Student – Christina Helm; and Sixth Student – Sarah Stewart.

The shows will be performed starting at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the school’s gym. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students.

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Parkersburg South High School

Parkersburg South Theater will present “Little Women,” a drama adapted from the iconic American novel by Louisa May Alcott.

The story, adapted by Marisha Chamberlin, follows the close-knit March family through the Civil War years. Tomboy Jo, a character that Alcott loosely based on herself, is portrayed by sophomore Hailey Matthews. Jo, espousing ideas ahead of her time, longs for the freedom that males of her age take for granted. She wants to make her own way in the world as a writer and a free woman.

Her youngest sister, selfish Amy, portrayed by Emma Pearson, is especially appalled that Jo wants to break the mold that society has set for her. Jo’s eldest sister, Meg, portrayed by Morgan Scritchfield, is beginning to awaken to love through her blossoming relationship with Mr. Brooke, portrayed by Britton Posey, the tutor of the rich young man next door, Laurie Laurence, portrayed by Sam Hungerford. The fourth March sister is shy Beth who finds her greatest joy in playing the piano and enjoying the company of her sisters.

Beth finally warms to someone outside the family when Old Mr. Laurence, the rich man next door portrayed by Blaine Butcher, takes a special interest in her music and sends her a lovely new piano to replace her old, out of tune instrument. Aunt March, the only March with any money and the family tyrant, portrayed by Hailey Gibbs, attempts to bully the family into her own image, but she fails to change the goodness and kindness innate in the March clan that is led by Marmee, portrayed by Malorie Davis, and Father March, portrayed by Caleb Gibbs who also serves as the assistant director for the show.

Members of the technical crew include Alexis Ullmann, who is serving as stage manager for the first time, McKenzie Deaton on sound, Bentley Singleton on lights, and Colleen Hoselton, Devan Duwel, and Sekka Singleton on stage crew. The director of the show is South theatre teacher, Jayne Whitlow, who is assisted by Ronnie Talbott and student director Caleb Gibbs.

Tickets for all shows are $5 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens and $3 for children under 6.

The show will be performed in the Parkersburg South Auditorium Friday at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday at a 2:30 p.m. matinee and a final show at 7:30 p.m.

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Parkersburg High School

The Parkersburg High School Thespian Troupe will present “Damn Yankees,” a 1950s musical comedy about a diehard baseball fan, Joe Boyd and what he will do so his beloved team can win.

“Damn Yankees,” with words and music by Richard Adler/Jerry Ross and based on the book by George Abbott/Douglass Wallop, is set in 1957. A middle-aged man and long-suffering Washington Senators fan, Joe Boyd, laments that his team just can’t beat “those Damn Yankees.” Mr. Applegate, the devil, appears and makes him an offer: he can transform him into the hero that baseball needs. Joe strikes the deal, and after leaving a note for his wife, gets transformed into Joe Hardy, a young baseball star who turns the Senators record around.

Though excited about his team’s new chance on winning the pennant, soon Joe gets lonely for his home and wife, and tries to escape from the deal. Applegate employs the help of “the best homewrecker on his staff” – Lola – to persuade Joe to forget his wife and stick with baseball.

Major musical numbers include “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO”, “Whatever Lola Wants” and “Heart.”

The cast is Joe Boyd – Eric Crigger; Meg – Karly Hunt; Applegate – Wesley Butcher; Lola – Imani Ward; Gloria – Torrey Archer; Sister – Edain Campbell; Doris – Alana Dailey; Joe Hardy – Julian Argabrite; Henry – Anthony Dickens; Sohovik/Guard – Brady Miller; Smokey – Dymond Murray; Linville – Dustin Digman; Van Buren – Rob Howard; Rocky – Carter Rice; Vernon – Chris Kyer; Mickey – Ashley Deem; Del – Summer Sholes; Welch – Cody Rockhold; Lynch/Dancer – Devin Terlaje; Batgirl/Dancer – Keri Tucker; Fan Girl/Dancer – Megan Newbanks; Fan Girl/Assistant – Randi Marshall; Miss Weston – Hanna Argabrite; Commissioner – Josh Cox; and Postmaster – Chad Richards.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.

The show will be performed in the Parkersburg High School Auditorium 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

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Warren High School

The Warren High School Theater Department will present “The Miracle Worker” 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Smoot Theatre.

General admission tickets are on sale at both Warren High School and at the Smoot. Adults are $10 and students, high school and younger are $7. In addition to the evening show, there will be a 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. abbreviated shows open to the public. All seats for the daytime shows are $5.

For reservations, call the Smoot at 304-422-PLAY or stop at Warren High School during school hours.