Drama students gain experience on the boards in theater program

August 11, 1994|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer

Two plays -- one a "demented episode of Seinfeld" and the second about three people playing phone tag -- will be brought to life today and tomorrow by the All County Summer Theater Program.

Performances of "The Man Who Died and Went to Heaven" and "Please Hang Up" will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Liberty High School, at Bartholow Road and Route 32 in Eldersburg.

Tickets are $3 for adults and $2 for students and children.

John O'Brien's 1985 play "The Man Who Died and Went to Heaven" focuses on Bill, played by Liberty junior Ken Fisher, who dies and goes to Hotel Heaven.

The problem occurs when Bill's widow, who remarried after his death, also dies but doesn't want to be with him in heaven.

"So Scratch, the devil, tries to persuade Bill to go to Hotel H [Hell]," said Josh Gold, a Carroll Community College student who helped start the All County program last year. "And God, who has somehow become a woman, tries to keep him in heaven."

Described as a "demented episode of Seinfeld" by one student actor, the play ends when "good triumphs over evil" on a light note.

Kim Beboy, a Liberty senior, plays God; Scratch is played by Steve Snyder, a South Carroll High junior. Lindsey Drager, a Liberty junior, rounds out the main cast. Katie Mangle, a Liberty senior, directs "The Man Who Died."

Just as funny, but more suspenseful, is Arthur S. Rosenblatt's 1984 play "Please Hang Up," directed by Mr. Gold.

"This is about three people who are constantly trying to get hold of each other and they miss by that much, which creates the suspense," said Mr. Gold.

The story revolves around Mother Tullis, played by South Carroll sophomore Shelly Cavey; her son Tom, played by Jon Sandruck, a South Carroll junior; and his want-to-be girlfriend Judy Miller, portrayed by Lindsey Drager. "Tom is desperately trying to get hold of Judy for a date, and Mother Tullis is just a mother," Mr. Gold said.

This is the second year for the All County Summer Theater Program, started last year by Mr. Gold, Miss Mangle and a third student who dropped out this summer to do other projects.

"They have the All County Band and All County Chorus, so we figured, why not an All County Theater?" Mr. Gold said.

Although now in college majoring in drama, Mr. Gold stayed with the group, which consists of about a dozen drama students, mostly from the two South Carroll high schools.

The Summer Theater Program, approved by the Liberty Drama Department and school principals, is sponsored by the Liberty Drama Boosters, headed by Donna Graves.

Separate from the summer theater group's plays, but overlapping this week's rehearsals and performances at Liberty is a Children's Summer Drama Workshop for 7- to 10-year-olds.

The children's workshop was the brainchild of Miss Mangle, who sought approval from the school to do the weeklong workshop for elementary-age students, focusing on a different theater topic each day.

"Monday we did mime, Tuesday props, then makeup and costuming," Miss Mangle said. "On Friday they do a performance play."

For this first year's effort, 14 students are participating in the workshop, which is held from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and costs $20.

Miss Mangle is being assisted by Liberty junior Rebekah Feacher and seniors Heather Graves, Beth Rudinck and Melanie Hancock.

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