As I sat in the darkened theater Tuesday night, every once in a while I’d hear the clang of a hammer or the whirl of a drill. Momentarily, I marveled at the realistic sound effects, but soon realized they were ill-placed in the scene. The show, indeed, must go on – even in the middle of a school construction project.
That’s just what the kids in the Sherburne-Earlville Drama Club are doing – acting their way through a chaotic construction scene as the school around them undergoes renovations. Usually, the S-E troupe presents their evening of one-act plays in the first part of November, but director Colleen Law-Tefft explained to me Tuesday night that the show was postponed due to the ongoing building project – which still isn’t done. Nevertheless, intrepid thespians that they are, the drama club participants soldiered on, acting their hearts out as the school around them reinvents itself (the lobby area outside the Marauder auditorium looks like it’s going to be pretty cool, on a side note).
In a nod to the renovation mayhem and scheduling conflicts, Law-Tefft has titled this year’s collection of one-act plays, “Timing is Everything.” Indeed! True to form, the S-E actors display expert timing in each of the evening’s 11 one-act plays. Interspersed throughout the vignettes this year are four comedy sketches as well, serving up a chuckle or two between setups. As I posit every year, these productions are cleverly designed for theater-goers, like me, with short attention spans. There’s no complex plot or dialogue to follow all the way through – each act has an entirely different cast, scenery and, most importantly, tone. The 11 short plays run the gamut from comedy to tragedy, and you never know which one you’ll get each time the lights come back up. That’s the fun of theater roulette, I suppose.
“Timing is Everything” really does include something for everyone, and gives the S-E drama club members a chance to really shine – both on and off the stage. I love that Law-Tefft always hands off a few of the productions to her student charges – this year, Zoe Enscoe, Brent Guiles, Doug Parks and Lucy Taylor serve as directors and producers of their own scenes.
While it’s hard for me to pick a favorite, I’d have to go with Park’s “Mere Mortals,” in which Craig Natoli, Brent Guiles and Ed Rigano, as New York City construction workers on lunch, brag about outlandish secret identities, including, hilariously, one of them being the adult Lindbergh baby.
This weekend’s production includes 31 S-E students on stage: Ryan Bagnall, Grace Dunshee, Meghan Dushko, Zoe Enscoe, Maisy French, Tomas Gager, Geana Giglio, Brent Guiles, Mike Harlost, Amanda Hodge, Mick Khoury, Gizem Kocak, Erin Lawrence, Mary Longman, Haley Muth, Craig Natoli, Kayla Osterndorff, Doug Parks, Danielle Purdy, Matt Rajczi, Ed Rigano, Alex Rodriguez, Matt Smith, Shannon Staley, Stephanie Staley, Jacob Taylor, Lucy Taylor, Rachel Taylor, Vincent Taylor, Alex Tefft and Kyle Tenney.
Showtimes for “Timing is Everything” are 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Sherburne-Earlville auditorium. Tickets are $5 at the door. Take a chance on that theater roulette – you’re bound to come up a winner!
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