ELDERSBURG -- Students from South Carroll High School will present a "total-student" production at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the school auditorium.
"Illinois Pete" has the distinction of being the school's first student-acted, student-produced and student-directed play.
The action farce, written by Dan Neidermyer, will feature a cast of 26 students.
Junior Dan Bickish, who is directing the play, initiated the student production idea after realizing that the school's spring musical, "Brigadoon," would be performed in March instead of May.
"I thought, why not give a student play a try? I talked to Mr. Booz [South Carroll Principal Davi Booz] and asked for his approval. He wanted to know if I had teacher support. I told Mr. Booz I had the support and, after giving it some thought, he gave me the OK."
The fictitious play is set at a girls boarding school called Mackison Academy, whose 99-year lease is about to end.
The lease was given as a gift to the school's founder, Elizabeth Mackison, by the property owner, Horace Fobbs.
In anticipation of inheriting the family property, Fobbs' grandson, Phineas, has plans for the land once the academy's lease expires.
A map and treasure buried on the campus are the incentives for Phineas, who is eager to build a shopping mall in place of the academy.
Hoping to stop Phineas from succeeding with his plan, Holly, a Mackison girl, seeks help from her friend, Illinois Pete.
Together they work to stop the fiendish Phineas and save the boarding school.
With the help of his fellow students and teachers Layce Shank, Walter McWilliams and Sondra Reger, Bickish has achieved a fuller appreciation of what it's like to be on the other side of the stage.
"This has been a lot tougher than I would have ever imagined. It has been work, work, work," Bickish said of his debut as a director. "Everything had to be done in five weeks -- constructing a set, rehearsing, getting costumes. It's been incredible. The cast and crew have been great."
Ticket price for both shows is $3. For more information, call 795-8500.