Danville High School prepares for annual spring play

By PAIGE GLASSER

Danville High School

When many people think about high school plays, they often imagine mainstream musicals and shows such as “Hairspray,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Grease.” These shows have limited casts that theater geeks alike fight and cry over. Really, it’s a huge drama.

What many people don’t imagine is a neo futuristic play of around 60 vignettes with a flexible cast from as few as five actors to as many as 20 to 30 actors. Yet, for the annual spring play, Steve Meadows will be directing such a show. “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” is neo futuristic show that, as neofuturists.org describes, “draws upon Dada, Surrealism, the work of the original Italian Futurists, and an array of other artistic and performance disciplines to create something new and different.” (Dada and surrealism being forms of artwork that stem from the counterculture and anti-art of the 50’s and 60’s that include avant garde performance art.)

Meadows hopes to cast everyone who auditions stating, “It’s a show where we can do that (many are not), and I believe that drama is for everyone.” The show will draw on audience interaction and (as described in the beginning of the script) will yell out the number of the vignette they wished to be performed which will be hanging on a clothesline on/near the stage. Many of the vignettes are short snippets of conversations, monologues, two person, and multi-person scenes.

Meadows describes the show by stating, “I see an ever-evolving collection of dramatic works that appear in different orders (and therefore affect each other and the audiences differently) each night.  The play is really a celebration of the heart of drama – simple straightforward human interactions presented by actors and shared by a temporary community of audience and actors.” He also states that “it will be a great way to showcase not only our experienced and strongest actors but also to include anyone else who wants to be part of drama at DHS.  Drama is for everyone, and this is a way to make that happen in ways that stories with a finite number of characters sometimes keep us from doing.”

He also encourages students who may not be comfortable acting to participate in other ways: “The tech needs for this simple show are pretty great – we’ll need quick-thinking sound and lighting technicians as well as the usual stagehands, ushers, stage managers, etc.” Mr. Meadows states that Malcolm Springs, technical director at DHS, “will be an integral part of the production, and he will work with the Theatre Production class and the Tech Theatre Club to design the sets, lights, and costumes.”

Jane Dewey, administrator and head of the theater department, adds, “Students will be involved both through class and tech theatre club. Mr. Meadows, Mr. Springs and I will work with students on technical and production elements. It’s a simple play technically on the one hand, and because of the simplicity, students may be able to really see how technical and production elements enhance the action of each scene.” Kyle Dean, a member of the advanced acting class (which will be helping and participating in the production, acting, and directing of the show), states, “The play sounds really fun. . . We’re making posters for auditions and analysing the script.”

The spring play, showing on May 4 – May 6, at Danville High School promises a new perspective on theater and art for both the actor and the audience.  Auditions will be March 20 and 21 after school.