Students getting their act together Teens to present three plays

August 20, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

With practice, the chaotic scenes playing out on Liberty High School's stage will become high drama, alluring mystery and comic relief.

Several days before Carroll County Summer Theatre was to open its first production, the members of the all-student cast stared at each other in the middle of a rehearsal.

"Does anybody know their line?" asked Sarah Counts, 16. "I know mine, but it's not next."

The production manager offered his antidote for memory lapses: "Improvise a little or fake it," said Josh Gold, 19.

The director tossed a script across the stage and called out, "Lights up."

"They've been up," answered a voice from the rafters.

About 20 students have joined the company, organized two months ago by Rachael Bradley and Emily Mudgett, Liberty High seniors.

"We read a plethora of plays before we selected three," said Josh.

Organizers asked county drama teachers to help recruit students for the production.

"We had tryouts and picked the most dependable and committed," Emily said.

Audiences will see the results unfold in "Three One Act Plays" at 7 p.m. today and tomorrow at the school on Bartholow Road in Eldersburg.

The cast and crew have been rehearsing daily with Tim Miller, their 18-year-old director.

"You have to speak much louder and know what you are saying," Tim shouted from the front row, against loud competition from a sound crew testing possibilities for background music.

"I wrote my own music for the show, but it's an orchestral score and we have no orchestra," he said.

As director, Tim said, he is most interested in "Basil Krebbs' Inconvenience of a Convenient Death," which he wrote. He calls the drama "a mystery with cracks in it."

"We are making it into a comedy," said Sarah, who plays the lead.

Tim has created a whole series of stories based on his Basil Krebbs hero.

"This is the first I have converted into a play," he said.

Like most of the actors, Sarah, who will be a senior at North Carroll High School next month, has a part in each play. She said she joined the cast to meet others interested in theater.

"It's a lot of fun to be somebody else for a while," she said.

"Unless you are dead," said John Johansen, who just moved to Sykesville from Italy. Emily, his new neighbor, drafted him for the drama.

"We need a big transition here," said Josh, addressing a "mostly dead" John languishing on a sofa. "Time to come alive."

The cast members hope for more laughter from the audience as they perform "This is a Test," a stressful comedy -- set in high school exam season -- by Stephen Gregg.

In the play, a student is so panicked about tests that she goes into a dream state, said star Bridget Lanigan, 16.

"It's a fairly typical, funny and satirical story of what happens to us all," she said.

The production takes a serious turn with "The Girl in the Mirror," a drama of a young girl's suicide written by Bruce Jacoby.

Dressed in a hospital gown and clutching a stuffed bunny, Emily plays a girl who looks back at the life she lost.

"It's been great working on our own," said Emily, who has acted in several Liberty High productions. "Our teachers are great, but we wanted to prove we could do it ourselves."

Tickets are $3 at the door. Proceeds will go to next year's summer production.

"Liberty lent us everything this year," said Josh. "Maybe next year we can get a little more elaborate."

Information: 795-1994.

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