HAMPSTEAD — Usually at a daughter's wedding, all the father has to do is give the bride away and, of course, pay the bills.
When "Seven Brides forSeven Brothers" takes the stage Thursday through Saturday in the North Carroll High School auditorium, the fathers will be taking more active roles.
"Real fathers of cast members are playing the brides' fathers," said Roberta Rooney, the North Carroll speech and drama teacher who directs the play.
The rousing song and dance-filled musical features36 students, plus seven fathers.
"It's a wonderful cast. They're energetic and all good singers and dancers, producing a lot of adrenalin," said Rooney, who's directed 20 plays during the nine years she's taught speech and drama at North Carroll.
"I'm fortunate to havetwo outstanding student assistant directors who know what they're doing," said Rooney, who, in her spare time, performs as a Christian clown and is a member of Fool Proof, an area theater group that teachesthe dangers of drugs and alcohol.
First-time student director Susan Quinn, 17, has acted in plays since her freshman year. She said she most enjoyed portraying Betty in "The Crucible" and performing in "Sleeping Beauty of Loreland."
"I wanted to work behind the scenes," she said. "It's interesting."
As director, the senior helps actors with their lines and makes suggestions on details of the production.
Co-director Karleen Treppe, a junior who has acted in student productions since she was a freshman, directed the faculty in "The Mouse That Roared" last fall.
"It was weird," the 16-year-old said. "I had to correct the teachers."
Rooney said she selected "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" because "we'd been doing 1920s, '30s and '40s plays, and I wanted to go off that track."
She described the show as a "foot-stomper" set during the 1850s in the Northwest Territory. The script by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay is based on "The Sobbin' Women" by Stephen Vincent Benet, and on the MGM motion picture, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."
The plot revolves around a family of mountain backwoodsmen. Adam, the oldest son, manipulates Milly into marrying him, not mentioning the fact that he has six brothers athome.
Brian Hadaway, 17, who plays Adam, describes his character as a "very egotistical man."
"He feels he is the man, boss, and that his wife should do everything he says. It's challenging because I don't feel that way."
The senior said he plans to go into businessand to keep drama as a hobby following graduation.
Cate Barry said she has a personality similar to Milly, the girl
"We're alike," said the 17-year-old senior. "Mom said the song 'OneMan,' where I storm around, was written for me."
She said her dad, John Barry, is excited about his role in the production and rehearsed with the cast. He plays the father of another girl.
"It was hilarious," she said. "All of the fathers had smiles on their faces."
The senior said she plans to teach music and history.
Dance instructor Michelle Hieronimus supervises choreography for the fifth year.
Martha Howells, an English teacher at the school who works with Rooney every year, serves as pianist and musical director.
Art teacher Jan Halman and metals teacher Roger Collins, along with seniors Mike Bubzyck, Tomi Ellyson, Jason Eiser and Brit
Britton have created complicated sets, including a fog machine and Styrofoam avalanche.
A number of parents joined English teacher Michelle Everett in assembling costumes.
In charge of lighting are Howells and Rooney, and senior Vikki Perry, junior Nicky Maus, and sophomore Jason Matthews.
Thursday's show will be interpreted for the hearing impaired byCharlene Handley, sign language teacher at the school.
"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" runs 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in the North Carroll High School auditorium in Hampstead. Tickets are $3 andcan be purchased at the door or from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the schoolcafeteria the week of the show. Information: 374-6105.