Shine a spotlight on the top ten Drama Club performances for the Class of 2020

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Actresses, such as Anya Mitton-Fry, Esme Chin-Parker, Katie Gold, Gabriela Shcnidt, Sydney Flora, Allison Collins, and Alexa Mitton, dance in “It’s A Hard knock Life.” Photo courtesy to Lexi Robertson

Anna Mialky

With the winter show “Walk Two Moons” coming to a close, the high school reflects on the previous ten performances for the class of 2020. With such a talented and hardworking cast and crew, attempting to rate one better than the other is challenging, especially considering each show is different and very well done. However, after interviewing several actors, technicians and fans, this is the ultimate list and order of the high school drama club productions.

“110 Stories”

Actresses Clara Smith and Anna Luedtke smile on opening night of “110 Stories”. (Anna Mialky/Blue Prints).

In last place is the 2018 fall performance “110 Stories.” This play followed several 9/11 stories through monologues. Although it was beautifully performed and the acting was well done, many did not connect with this piece. “I think “110 Stories” was an emotional and informative show that was perfect for those interested in learning more about 9/11,” senior McKenna Fuhrman said. Even though this was ranked last due to its unenthusiastic response from the community, most would still consider it a success, which displays the talent within the high school’s theater department.

“Alice in Wonderland”

Cast including Katie Noth, Kayla Braden, Anna Mialky, Frances Goodwin, Keely Spens and Tori Bergstrom gather as Kate Plaugher gives a monologue in “Alice in Wonderland”. (Photo Courtesy of Katie Gold)

Coming in ninth is the 2016 fall show “Alice in Wonderland.” For many in the class of 2020, this was their first show making it quite memorable. “’Alice in Wonderland’ was the best first show to be in,” senior Tori Bergstrom said. “However, looking back on it, the script was a bit of a trainwreck.” The show had promise with an extraordinary cast including class of 2018’s Kate Plaugher as Alice and Kate Guiney as the Queen of Hearts. However, the show itself did not live up to its expectations as the script chosen was slightly messy and confusing for some audience members. With a large portion of the cast being first time actors, and the directors making the decision not to cut anyone, it was no surprise that this performance was not as professional and clean-cut as the drama club’s later performances. 

“John Lennon and Me”

Kayla Braden as Star gives a monologue on closing night of “John Lennon and Me’. (Photo courtesy of Katie Gold)

With double threat actress and technician Kayla Braden as the lead of this performance, an outstanding set, and a plot centered around one of the most popular musicians of all time, many anticipated the 2017 fall show “John Lennon and Me” to be a success. However, several things went unexpectedly wrong. Illness hit the cast hard and two key actresses were forced to drop at the last minute leaving a few cast members scrambling. It is not that this show was bad in any way, it is that it is less memorable compared to the several other extraordinary performances put on by high school students. Despite this, emotional performances by leads Kayla Braden and Gabriella Schnaidt brought many audience members to tears and should not be looked over. Although there are several shows most consider better, “John Lennon and Me” was far from a failure. “I thought it was a powerful show that was intriguing to watch and be a part of,” Rose Duffus said. Overall, although this show was not the best, it certainly was not the worst. 

“Get Smart”

Stars Cian McDermott and McKenna Fuhrman smile during all day tech rehearsal of “Get Smart”. (Anna Mialky/Blue Prints)

In seventh place is the 2019 fall show “Get Smart.” This hilarious comedy stared seniors Cian McDermott, Cole McDermott, Matthew Steele and McKenna Fuhrman. Although the love for this show was obvious amongst the cast, the community was slightly less enthusiastic about this particular performance than those in the past. “I loved being a part of ‘Get Smart,’” said sophomore Amelia Goodwin. “I thought that the whole story was really fun and the characters were amazing. Everyone did an amazing job and made my experience a whole lot better.” There is no denying that this performance had moments that had the crowd laughing, but at some moments the humor appeared racist or outdated. Even though many would deem this performance a huge success, there are several performances most would consider superior. 

“Check, Please”

Emma Jernigan’s character looks shocked at the sight of her date, Max Taylor, dressed in a Burlap Sack in “Check Please.” (Photo courtesy of Katie Gold)

The 2018 winter comedy “Check, Please” was unquestionably hilarious. Beyond that, however, the format of this production received varying opinions. The play was structured so each scene was a different “date” and the leads met and interacted with entertaining and abnormal characters scene after scene. While many have stated that this was repetitive, others thought the fast pace of the show made it more digestible and entertaining. “I thought ‘Check, Please’ was hilarious and enjoyed watching it,” Senior McKenna Fuhrman said. Because of these conflicting perspectives, this performance stands close to the center in the rankings but overall it was one of the drama club’s funniest performances.

“9 to 5”

Actors and actresses, including Kate Guiney, Kate Plaugher, Hannah Roach, Frances Goodwin, True Chin-Parker, Anna Dunham, Zander Finley, Eowyn Frail, Lauren Shwab, John Kim, and Clara Smith, hold their final pose in the finale of “9 to 5.” (Photo courtesy of Katie Gold)

The 2017 spring musical “9 to 5” was quite controversial. Spots in the cast were very competitive, which resulted in an extremely impressive ensemble. “’9 to 5′ was one of my favorite shows and I’m so glad that I got to have that experience when I was a freshman,” senior Frances Goodwin said. “It definitely made me love theater even more!” While most cast members rank this as one of their favorites due to the challenging music and dancing, many audience members found it too inappropriate for their liking. The content was a bit raunchy and included cursing, making it far from a kid-friendly show. There is no doubt that this show was well done and the actors and actresses involved worked hard. However, due to many audience members agreeing that this performance was too inappropriate, this musical performance deserved this ranking.

“Almost, Maine”

Anna Minton acts her heart out during rehearsal of “Almost, Maine.” (Photo courtesy of Katie Gold)

In fourth place is the 2017 winter play “Almost, Maine.” This performance was referred to as the “upperclassman show” so all in the class of 2020, who would have been freshmen at the time, participated in tech. This show debatably obtained the best acting as all actors and actresses involved were clearly experienced and took the show seriously. Because it was a smaller cast, each individual received more one on one support from directors contributing to the fantastic performance. Additionally, it was well received by the audience. “I have had the privilege of seeing every GHS theater performance, and this was by far my favorite,” senior Allison Moore said. However, despite the apparent love within the high school community, this performance received slightly less praise than the remaining three due to the fact that younger audience members did not relate to it and many pieces to this story went over their heads. 

“The Beverly Hillbillies”

Alexa Minton, Jim Batey and Tori Bergstrom smile before heading on stage during a rehearsal of “The Beverly Hillbillies.” (Anna Mialky/Blue Prints)

The third best performance, and best play, is “The Beverly Hillbillies.” This show consisted of a fantastic cast including stars Alexa Minton, Jim Batey, David Braden and Tori Bergstrom. This hilarious production was especially outstanding with extremely passionate and hardworking actors and actresses that contributed to a positive backstage atmosphere. “’The Beverly Hillbillies’ was such a fun show because it felt like everyone was playing themselves,” senior Frances Goodwin said. “The people were amazing and it was fun onstage and off!” In addition to the fantastic and entertaining acting, the set was very well done. Overall, this production’s humor and acting earned it this placement.

“Annie”

Anna Dunham sings “Tomorrow” to Gabriella Schnaidt in “Annie.” (Photo courtesy of Katie Gold)

With Anna Dunham as Annie, Kate Guiney as Mrs. Hannigan, and Jim Batey as Daddy Warbucks, the 2018 spring musical was guaranteed to be a huge hit. It featured a hardworking cast, an extremely impressive set resembling the inside of the mansion from the original movie “Annie,” and a storyline that the community adored. The love for this musical is obvious amongst the cast and crew, the high school, and the outside community. “I think the audience really enjoyed “Annie” because it’s a story that everyone knows and loves with the special charm that our theater brings to every production,” senior Paige Wallace said. “Plus Sandy was a real dog so that always helps!” This production blew the audience away and serves as a standard for future musicals to come.

“Seussical”

Bird Girls Sydney Flora, McKenna Fuhrman, and Anna Dunham dance and sing in the opening number of “Seussical.” Photo courtesy of Claire Duncan.

In first place is the 2019 spring musical “Seussical.” This performance obtained the best combination of beautiful singing and acting, a great audience response and was technically flawless. “Seussical was one of my favorite shows,” senior McKenna Fuhrman said. “I loved the music and I think the audience really enjoyed it.” Overall, the performance was stunning and many audience members of all ages were able to enjoy it, making it the drama club’s greatest and most memorable success.