Left to right - Isaac Albrecht, Bailee Southerland, Madison Reece, Caity Shipman, Ethan Gollahon, Morgan Goodnoe, Carlena Youngblood.
By Jean C. Wheeler
The dedication and talents of the PHS Theatre Department shine as they present their fall production, The Ransom of Red Chief. Community audiences were given the opportunity to enjoy two matinee performances Sunday, and one performance on Tuesday evening.
The PHS Theatre Department will be hosting and competing in the regional one-act competition on Saturday, Oct. 24. The public is welcome to attend this free performance. Schools will start performing as early as 9:15 a.m. and go through 3 p.m. Pickens High School will perform at 10:30 a.m.
Based on O. Henry’s short story, The Ransom of Red Chief, Burton Bumgarner’s play is set in modern day New York City, rather than the Old West in O. Henry’s version. Main characters include three sibling roommates struggling to support themselves, and an antagonizing young visitor who very quickly wears out her welcome. As one would expect with any O. Henry story, the play has his trademark plot twist.
Directed by Valerie Boehm, PHS theatre teacher, stating in the playbill’s director’s notes, “It was a natural choice for this group of dynamic students. Even after rehearsing the same scene countless times, the cast members would constantly bring a fresh edge to the comedy in an effort to draw more laughter from their audience.”
In order to expose the talent of numerous students, this season involves two sets of cast members. Playing the roles of the colorful young-adult siblings are Mallory Wheeler/Shelby Wisdom, Clay McArthur/Jackson Melton, and Emily Trossorello/Samantha Whitman. The dual role of the antagonizing little girl is played by Lila McArthur/Macy Gallagher. Many other drama students were involved in the production.
Recognized for excellence in the Fine Arts in the past, the PHS Theatre Department continues to challenge students to develop their talents, and to compete with confidence with other high schools. Director Valerie Boehm, a Pickens graduate, reflects, “I’m glad to be back serving the community that helped me go so far.”