by Anna Ferraro
Save the date, folks – Our Savior’s School is gearing up for another spring play! If their attendance is anything like years gone by, get your tickets early, in anticipation of a sell-out crowd. $5 tickets can be reserved at the OSS office by calling (217) 243-8621.
Once again, Adam Power and Dave Shaffer team up to produce full-scale, side-splitting comedy in the OSS gym – which will be transformed into a theater for two nights. Power shared, “This year, we selected a comedic play about a school election. A senior is running for student body president, and he is running unopposed. Until, schoolmates team up and get his girlfriend to run against him.” Through a hilarious scene of events, they campaign against each other, culminating in a debate between them. The play has a sweet and happy ending where the boyfriend and girlfriend decide that they will not win against the other, but instead, whoever wins the election, will concede to the other, throwing the school back to the campaign drawing board. Power grimaced, “It’s a little too sweet of an ending for me, but there are a lot of fun twists along the way.”
Through the play, copious humor is sure to keep the audience in stitches, including scenes where two of the high school guys dress up like girls to go over to their side to figure out their plan for the election. Power chuckled, “Yeah, a little bit of cross-dressing going on in a Catholic school. That’s definitely unintentional…”
Power said that typically, OSS chooses comedy for their theater drama, saying, “One year I suggested doing The Crucible, and that was shot down pretty quick. Between Dave [Shaffer] and I, we’ve done close to 300 productions [in the course of our careers]. We’ve tried to narrow it down to what sells seats. Comedy really gets people going, and they really enjoy it.” It’s not just kids’ humor though. Power says, “We try and get a little adult humor going, too. Even if the kids that are acting don’t understand all of it, the audience really enjoys it.
The cast is comprised of 5th-8th graders, most of which are first-timers to the stage. Power shared, “Our great group of kids really look out for each other. I look for that in my cast. It’s really important that the cast has some sort of positive bonding. Usually, the older kids, we try and give the leads to them, but we do have a couple of 5th and 6th graders in lead roles this year who have really been doing a great job. Coming to rehearsals, some of the younger class-men are really picking up the slack.
In discussing their history of school plays, Power explained, “We’ve done a big show three years in a row. Everything we do has to be portable – we build the stage, light trucks, and even hanging lights ourselves – turning the gym into an auditorium overnight. We’ve sold out the last two years, I’d love to sell out this year. I always tell the kids, ‘As much as you work, you deserve to perform in front of a sold-out crowd.”
Looking ahead, Power shared, “When the play is over, I hope the students find that it was challenging. I want a little bit of fear that pushes them to their best. But overall, I want them to have had a fun experience.”
As the performance dates close in, Shaffer and Power are working hard to get their cast and crew ready for the big night. Power shared, “Dave and I work really well together – not as just directors, but on stage, in the pit, and we have a really good dynamic that feeds well into the kids. In rehearsal, we tell them that it’s always okay to laugh on stage to the point that they don’t lose character. We laugh about our mistakes, but we want to make it a quality production as well, so that everyone involved can walk away saying, ‘That was a pretty good show.’ I want them to have fun, and even for those kids that aren’t lead roles, I want this to be an outlet for their talent as well.
The OSS Spring Play will be performed April 20th and 21st at 7:30p.m. in the OSS gym. Pre-order tickets by calling the main school office (217) 243-8621. Tickets are $5 for the general public.