Wednesday, April 16, 2014
   
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A play of Epic Proportions

GHS students combine comedy, stage fighting, fun during one-act performance.

Put another notch on the acting belt for experience.

With this season’s one-act play “Epic Proportions” by Larry Coen and David Crane, viewers are in for a treat with stage fighting, humor and just plain good acting.

“We have the same philosophy as the musical each year,” explained co-director Lori Long. “We want to give the students a wide range of experience.”

Swords and whips and other weapons appear on stage throughout the performance.

To help students know how to fight on stage realistically and safely, Long hired a nationally certified stage combat choreographer from Weeping Water who worked one Saturday with the four combat actors and anyone else who wanted to learn the basics.

Long said students paid for the choreographer from what they made selling concessions during the last school year.

The play itself is set in the 1930s and begins with two brothers Benny (Zac Franzen) and Phil (Christopher Block) who go to the Arizona desert to be extras in a huge biblical epic Exeunt Omnes.

Long said things move rapidly in the riotous comedy.

“Before you know it, Phil is directing the movie and Benny is starring in it,” she said.

To complicate matters more, they both fall in love with Louise (Elizabeth Graham), the assistant director in charge of the extras.

Throughout the way, there are gladiator battles, the 10 plagues and a cast of thousands portrayed by other actors.

Joanna Blecha, who plays the queen, described the production as a comedy much different than what she’s been involved in in the past.

Kelsey Houchin, a dancer and extra, said the one act “is fun and fun to act out.”

Block said Epic Proportions has a mixture of humor, romance and action.

Franzen said it “has bits of comedy that fits everyone’s (in the audience) type of humor.”

Long said the play fits the cast well, noting that at auditions the directors tried to give everyone a part.

Co-director Erin Feather said the comedy is a good change of pace compared to past productions.

Students performed the play in Loup City last Friday where they were ranked fifth and Franzen and Liz were named best actor and best actress.

The two and Chris Block were also noted performers.

“We took a limited set and only costume accessories,” Long said. “We wore street clothes because we still aren’t ready to add costumes for everyone.”

Long described the competition as more of a formal rehearsal than a performance.

“I am really proud of the effort our kids put forth in Loup City, competing against plays that were stage-ready,” Long said. “I look forward to what they will do in the coming month.”

Gothenburg hosts its own invite on Tuesday, Nov. 17, to which the public is invited.

Eight area teams will compete—Gothenburg, Cozad, Lexington, Eustis-Farnam, Hershey, Sutherland, McCook and Cody-Kilgore.

Admission is $5 with the Swedes taking the stage at 9 a.m. Plays are every hour with an awards presentation at 5:30 p.m.

The public gets another chance to see the play when students perform in the performing arts center on Monday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m.

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